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Lockheed receives $818m for JASSM-ER production

JASSM-ER on F-16
US Air Force photo of an F-16 with the JASSM-ER in a 2018-test over the Gulf of Mexico

The US Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a $818.2 million contract for Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM)-Extended Range missiles.

The company is to deliver a total of 790 missiles under the contract, 40 of which will be delivered to a foreign customer.

Awarded on April 1, the contract comes after the lawmakers urged the air force in December 2019 to evaluate a multi-year buy of the missiles that would see Lockheed deliver some 500 missiles annually from fiscal year 2022.

At over 500 miles, JASSM-ER has roughly double the range of its predecessor – JASSM – which entered service in 2009. JASSM-ER is integrated onto B-1 and B-52 bombers and F-15E, and F-16 fighters. The F-35 stealth fighter will be able to carry the missile externally.

Armed with a penetrating blast-fragmentation warhead, the 2,000-pound cruise missile employs an infrared seeker and enhanced digital anti-jam GPS receiver to dial into specific points on high-value, well-fortified, fixed and relocatable targets.

The air force intends to buy 10,000 missiles over the life of the program, including the “extreme range” JASSM-D variant that will employ a new wing design to engage its targets at ranges of over 1,000 nautical miles.