Lockheed Martin's JASSM Successful in Flight Test
ORLANDO, FL, 04-MAR-05 --
A Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM), the world’s first stealthy cruise missile, was successfully launched Thursday from an F-16 aircraft and precisely navigated through its first verification flight test at White Sands Missile Range, NM. The missile successfully struck the target as planned.
“This JASSM flight test success was especially important for the Air Force,” said Col. James Geurts, JASSM program manager and commander of the Long Range Missile Systems Group at Eglin Air Force Base, FL. “Recent military activities have significantly reduced the number of long-range weapons and JASSM provides advanced capabilities to the warfighter. JASSM is a top priority program because of its unmatched ability to deliver precision targeting, with superior effectiveness, over long distances, on multiple aircraft, through the toughest threat environments. JASSM is a key enabler for the Combatant Commanders in our future combat planning and a capability that is sorely needed into today and tomorrow’s battlefield.”
“We’re very happy with the successful resumption of our test program because we know how important this program is to the warfighter,” said Randy Bigum, vice president of Strike Weapons at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “We have focused our efforts since August on enhancing quality processes within our supplier chain and we have improved product quality across the board. The test program for 2005 will demonstrate that JASSM is a dependable and effective product that our air crews can rely on.”
A busy flight test program follows this test with more flights planned for 2005. The program will venture into new areas by conducting three live launches, called Product Upgrade Verification flight tests, to prove out the new electronic safe-and-arm fuze. Additionally, Lockheed Martin will conduct the first flight testing (captive carriage and a jettison test vehicle) of the JASSM Extended Range (JASSM-ER) configuration.
JASSM continues to be a critical weapon for the U.S. Air Force, with the fourth production lot under contract towards a total of 4,900 rounds through at least 2018. The state-of-the art missile factory was designed to accommodate U.S. Air Force and Foreign Military Sales production rates concurrently. JASSM is being proposed to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for its AIR 5418 requirement. The ability to be integrated on aircraft with the JSOW interface has been successfully demonstrated, which provides a low cost integration path for JASSM on multiple aircraft for both the RAAF and European Participating Air Forces (EPAF) countries.
JASSMs are produced at Lockheed Martin’s award-winning manufacturing facility in Troy, AL. Recent expansion of the Troy facility will support production rates of up to 40 per month by mid-2005. Lockheed Martin has produced approximately 271 JASSM missiles in Troy since late 1999 for use in tests, along with Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) missiles for operational use. The Troy facility has delivered 171 missiles to the Air Force to meet inventory objectives, which include missiles for the B-1, B-2, B-52 and F-16 weapon systems.
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 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.