U.S. Air Force Awards $32 Million to Lockheed Martin for JASSM Cruise Missile Weapon Data Link Development
ORLANDO, FL, 05-APR-06 --
Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] received a U.S. Air Force task order totaling more than $32 million for the development of a Weapon Data Link (WDL) capability that will enable the extended-range JASSM™ system to engage relocatable and time-critical targets. The JASSM air-to-surface standoff missile system is the world’s first stealthy conventional cruise missile.
“This WDL capability, in association with the extended range JASSM (JASSM-ER), gains major warfighter benefits,” said Fred Schubert, Weapon Data Link program manager, Long Range Missile Systems Group at Eglin Air Force Base, FL. “JASSM-ER provides significant stand-off capability, which is enhanced with the WDL capability that will increase the flexibility of the weapon. Warfighters will have an increased ability to engage relocatable targets and provide time-critical strike.”
The WDL will provide the JASSM-ER with two-way, secure, beyond-line-of-sight-communications capability with the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC). The COAC may send target location updates and changes to the missile while it is in flight. The missile will report its position and status until impact. This communications link will provide the warfighter with an increased capability to engage relocatable and time-critical targets and is a key enabler of a future maritime interdiction capability in the missile.
“We are proud to provide this enhanced capability to the Air Force as part of the JASSM-ER system,” said Randy Bigum, vice president - Strike Weapons at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The data link brings the warfighter a great deal of flexibility after the missile is launched. We will be able to hold at risk relocatable and time-critical targets.
The WDL system will use the standardized data link architecture for network-enabled weapons developed by a joint service Weapon Data Link Network (WDLN) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program. Lockheed Martin was a key participant in the WDLN ACTD whose primary purpose was to specify, design, implement and demonstrate standardized tactical weapons communications architecture. The JASSM-ER will be the first cruise missile to use the military’s standardized data link architecture for network enabled weapons.
The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin successfully demonstrated the WDL capability during flight test demonstrations conducted in November 2005. Lockheed Martin ACTD avionics configured with a beyond-line-of-sight-capable WDL transceiver was installed in a test aircraft. During the demonstration, the test aircraft communicated beyond-line-of-sight, weapon in-flight-tracking data and received retargeting data from a simulated CAOC.
A 2,000-pound class weapon with a dual-mode penetrator and blast fragmentation warhead, JASSM-ER will cruise 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 initial employment on the B-1B aircraft platform. Structural testing confirmed that the JASSM-ER missile design will be compatible with the B-2, B-52 and F-16 aircraft that currently employ JASSM. The extended range cruise missile has a range greater than 500 nautical miles.