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US Air Force awards 3 contracts for development of SiAW missile for F-35

Lockheed Martin graphic of an F-35 launching a SiAW missile

The US Air Force has contracted three industry majors to begin work on the development of the Stand-in Attack Weapon (SiAW) missile that will equip the F-35 fighters.

Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and L3Harris Technologies received $2 million contracts each for the first phase of the program, which will run for three months. During this time, each of the companies is to demonstrate their missile capabilities under a digital acquisition approach that emphasizes agility and innovation.

The goal of the SIAW program is to ultimately develop a missile that will enable the Joint Strike Fighter – and potentially other aircraft in the USAF fleet – to attack mobile anti-access, area denial platforms. Air defense systems, missile launchers, GPS jammers, and anti-satellite systems are among the potential targets of the new missile.

During phase 1 of the SiAW competition, the US Air Force intends to align the SiAW missile system technical capabilities to the Air Combat Command requirements and to the Air Force Weapon Government Reference Architecture. Tasks include the establishment of an integrated digital environment to design, develop, and test the initial increment of the SiAW missile system utilizing a digital engineering methodology and model-based systems engineering best practices.

Northrop Grumman has completed flight tests with its new anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) missile, which is based on the US Navy’s Navy’s AARGM-ER, demonstrating capabilities that would meet key objectives for the upcoming SiAW program.

According to budget documents, the Air Force plans to invest $1.9 billion in SiAW by 2027, with the fiscal 2023 request including $283.2 million for the program.