Lockheed Martin Receives Production Contract for Standoff Missile
Lockheed Martin has received a US Air Force contract totaling more than $112 M for continued production of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM), the world’s first stealthy cruise missile. The first lot of full rate production, Lot 4, is for 288 missiles. Lockheed Martin was approved for Milestone III, signaling the start of full rate production, in March of 2004. Low rate Initial Production (LRIP) of Lots 1 and 2 began in late 2001 and continued through 2004. The last 11 Lot 2 missiles arrived by the end of December 2004. Lot 3 began in December 2003, with the first missile delivery planned for January 2005, one month in advance of contractual requirement. The US Air Force expects to procure 4,900 JASSMs over the life of the program, while the US Navy plans to procure 450 JASSMs, starting in fiscal year 2007. “This contract for 288 JASSMs is especially important for the Air Force to be able to increase its inventories of cruise missiles,” said Col. James Geurts, JASSM program manager at Eglin Air Force Base, FL. “Recent military activities have significantly reduced the number of long range weapons, and JASSM’s advanced capabilities provide a next generation capability. This production contract continues the strong commitment the Air Force has to JASSM,” said Randy Bigum, vice president of Strike Weapons at Lockheed Martin. “On our part, Lockheed Martin will continue to build the versatile JASSM, delivering them on or ahead of schedule, and do so at an unprecedented price for a stealthy cruise missile. We take pride in being the air-launched cruise missile of choice for the Department of Defense.” Lockheed Martin’s award-winning manufacturing facility in Troy, AL, is currently producing 11 missiles per month and has produced up to 20 a month. Lockheed Martin’s recently expanded Troy facility is complete and will support production rates up to 40 per month by mid-2005. Lockheed Martin has produced approximately 245 JASSM missiles in Troy since late 1999 for use in tests, along with LRIP missiles for operational use. The Troy facility has delivered 161 missiles to the Air Force to meet inventory objectives, which include 42 missiles for the B-52 Required Assets Available (RAA) in September 2003, 11 missiles to the B-2 community, 27 to the B-1 community and 25 to the F-16 community. A 2000-pound class weapon with a dual-mode penetrator and blast fragmentation warhead, JASSM cruises autonomously in adverse weather, day or night, using a state-of-the-art infrared seeker in addition to the anti-jam GPS to find a specific aim point on the target. Its stealthy airframe makes it extremely difficult to defend against. The missile is planned for deployment on B-1, B-2, B-52, F-16 and F/A-18E/F aircraft and has a range greater than 200 miles.