Lockheed Martin, Air Force JASSM Successful in Final Development Test; Positions Team for Recertification
ORLANDO, FL, 27-MAR-03 --
A Lockheed Martin Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) was successfully launched Wednesday from a B-52H aircraft and precisely navigated through its final development test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. This flight test completes developmental testing and positions the team for the recertification of JASSM for Independent Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E), according to Col. Tim Moore, U.S. Air Force JASSM program manager. The recertification is scheduled for early April.
The JASSM program continues to demonstrate that acquisition reform is of great benefit to the warfighter and the taxpayer, said Gerry Freisthler, program director of Lethal Strike Joint Systems at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. We teamed with Lockheed Martin to produce an air-launched cruise missile system in record time while maintaining a unit procurement price half that of comparable weapon systems. With the success of this flight, our focus now shifts to completing the hands-on operational testing, confirming JASSM's readiness for deployment and operational use.
Wednesday's mission was the fourth JASSM Block 1A missile with the Selective Availability Anti-spoofing Module (SAASM) technology in an enhanced digital anti-jam Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver. This gives JASSM the ability to successfully complete its mission even in intense jamming environments.
JASSM has demonstrated its ability to carry out complex missions using a unique combination of range, survivability, and lethality, said Randy Bigum, vice president of Strike Weapons at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. In this business, discoveries in the flight test environment enable you to ultimately give the best product possible to our country's warfighters. It is the hard work and dedication of the Government and contractor team that put the missile back in testing quickly and successfully. We are now focused on meeting the Required Assets Available and are confident we will deliver JASSM into the hands of the warfighter by September, as required.
The missile's legacy includes 42 tests that prove JASSM can perform first-day, first-strike operations in support of pilots under extreme conditions. From the first jettison flight from the F-16 fighter platform to this last flight of an all-up-round Block 1A missile on the B-52 bomber platform, the missile has demonstrated all required objectives on each of the threshold platforms and has successfully transitioned to the warfighter for operational testing.
The Air Force implemented a streamlined acquisition strategy that incorporates reforms intended to reduce time spent designing a weapon system by eliminating unneeded military standards and specifications, relying on mature technologies, and limiting changes in performance requirements. As a result, the current Engineering Manufacturing Development 55-month timeframe for the JASSM program represents a substantial reduction from the historical average of 128 months for other programs. The JASSM's first missile was delivered from Lockheed Martin's production facility in Troy, Ala. in early April 2000. Currently, the JASSM team is scheduled to meet the warfighter Required Assets Available (RAA) by September 2003.
Early this month the B-1 bomber Combined Test Force successfully accomplished the first B-1 bomber JASSM jettison test at Edwards AFB, Calif. The missile released and safely separated from the aircraft. All test points were accomplished. The next B-1B jettison test (of a total of 6) is scheduled for mid-April.
In June, DoD's highest acquisition honor, the David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award, was presented by C. Pete Aldridge, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, to the U.S. government-Lockheed Martin JASSM team, recognizing exemplary innovations in the defense acquisition process.
The missile is planned for deployment on B-1, B-2, B-52, F-16, and F/A-18 aircraft and has a range greater than 200 miles.
A 2,000-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 aimpoint on the target. Its stealthy airframe makes it extremely difficult for the enemy to engage it in flight.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control develops, manufactures and integrates world-class air defense, fire support, strike weapon, naval munition, combat vision, anti-armor and advanced product solutions and systems for U.S. and international armed forces.