Lockheed Martin's JASSM Certified as Ready for Operational Use; Stealthy, All-Weather Cruise Missile Deployed to B-52 Squadrons
Orlando, FL, 20-OCT-03 --
The Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM), developed by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], has been certified by both the JASSM Joint Program Office and the B-52 Systems Program Office to meet warfighter requirements and is now ready for operational use. This major milestone represents a dramatically increased capability for warfighting aircrews.
JASSM provides the Air Force with kick-the-door-down capability, according to Gerry Freisthler, director of the Air Armament Center's Lethal Strike project office at Eglin Air Force Base, FL. Shrinking force structure, increasing tasking, improving threats and the need to conserve precious lives and assets drive a demand for a standoff, precision strike capability in the conduct of 21st Century air operations. JASSM combines several key attributes not available in other cruise missiles needed to satisfy these needs: cost effectiveness, accuracy, flexibility and responsiveness from a tasking perspective and high survivability.
JASSM brings new capability to the warfighter: survivability, lethality and long-range precision strike, at an affordable price. JASSM also offers unprecedented safety because it is an insensitive munition. JASSM is 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 Global Positioning System (GPS) to find a specific aim point on the target unlike the current generation of cruise missiles. Its stealthy airframe makes it extremely difficult for enemy defenses to detect and engage. In addition to the B-52, the missile is planned for deployment on B-1, B-2, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft and has a range greater than 200 miles.
Lockheed Martin recently delivered the 42nd JASSM to the U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber community at Barksdale AFB, LA, and at Whiteman AFB, MO. This missile delivery, along with the supporting personnel training and technical data to support sustained JASSM operations, satisfies a Required Assets Available (RAA) prerequisite for an Air Force combat unit Initial Operational Capability (IOC).
The U.S. Government requested that 42 of the first 76 missiles delivered for Lot 1 go to the B-52 bomber community to fill its RAA need by the end of September 2003. Lockheed Martin fulfilled that request on September 24, 2003. This delivery marks the successful completion of a warfighter requirement documented in the Operational Requirements Document (ORD) and a Lockheed Martin commitment to the warfighter made more than four years ago.
Lockheed Martin clearly demonstrated its commitment to the warfighter and to the success of the program by meeting the RAA, said Randy Bigum, vice president, Strike Weapons at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. We accelerated our delivery in order to support the warfighters' critical need for cruise missiles. JASSM will likely be employed in the first strike of the first day of a conflict. Further, the missile will be employed against selected high-value heavily defended targets throughout the war. The missile's remarkable effectiveness reduces the number of weapons required to destroy a given target set.
Low Rate Initial Production of Lots 1 and 2 began in late 2001 and will continue through 2004. A Milestone III Full Rate Production decision is planned for early 2004. The U.S. Air Force expects to procure 3,700 JASSMs over the life of the program, while the U.S. Navy's initial procurement of 453 JASSMs starts in FY 2007.
JASSM is produced at Lockheed Martin's all up round facility in Troy, AL.
Our production crews have been building JASSMs in Troy since late 1999 and have been extremely successful in getting to production rates during EMD, said Mike Inderhees, JASSM program director at Lockheed Martin. We are very proud of the commitment we have seen from the entire JASSM team. The 20 JASSM key suppliers, our electronics and seekers production team in Ocala, Fla., and the Troy production team, responsible for production of the final assembly, test, and pack out, all delivered and made RAA commitments early. When the state-of-the-art facility reaches full-rate production of JASSM, it will produce approximately one missile each day and is currently scheduled to continue producing JASSMs until 2014.