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Lockheed Martin has been selected to develop the Joint Common Missile (JCM) system, the next generation air-to-ground missile that will be carried on the US Armed Forces rotary- and fixed-wing platforms. The contract is worth approximately $5 B over the life of the program. Lockheed Martin received an initial contract valued at $53 M to commence work on the program’s system design and development (SDD) phase. The system’s design and development contract includes a 14-month risk reduction phase and a 36-month testing/integration phase to ready the JCM for initial production. The first JCMs are expected to reach the field in 2010. The US Army, Navy and Marine Corps are expected to procure up to 54,000 JCM rounds to replace the Longbow/Hellfire missiles on the Apache, Cobra and Strikehawk helicopters and the Maverick missile on the F/A-18 Hornet jet fighter. The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence has also expressed potential interest in co-developing and producing the new missile. The design and development of the JCM will be performed at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando, FL, and the missiles will be produced at the company’s advanced missile manufacturing facility in Troy, AL. JCM is equipped with a tri-mode seeker that combines semi-active laser for precision-strike, single-shot kill capability with low collateral damage, imaging infrared for passive fire-and-forget and countermeasure robustness, and millimeter-wave radar for active fire-and-forget day, night and in adverse weather. JCM has a multi-purpose warhead that packs both a highly lethal shaped-charge to defeat the most advanced armored threats and a blast fragmentation capability to defeat ships, buildings, bunkers and other “soft” targets by penetrating them with a precursor warhead and then detonating a time-delayed main warhead to incapacitate the target from within. JCM also has a single rocket motor that can provide the required turndown ratio (boost to sustain) in the temperature extremes of both rotary- and fixed-wing environments, delivering maximum range from all required platforms. Collectively, these features will enable Army, Navy and Marine Corps aviators to perform a wide range of close air support missions from multiple platforms against diverse targets to support forces in whatever scenario they find.
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