March 11, 2004 (by Eric L. Palmer) - According to Lockheed Martin, JASSM (Lockheed Martin's Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile) has received the go-ahead from the U.S. Air Force to enter full-rate production. USAF intends to deploy JASSM on its F-16, B-1, B-2 and B-52 aircraft.
JASSM, which has a stealthy airframe, is designed to destroy high value, heavily defended targets, over 200 miles away.
The JASSM is an autonomous, long-range, conventional, air-to-ground, precision standoff missile for the U.S. Air Force and Navy.
JASSM is designed to destroy high-value, well-defended, fixed and relocatable targets. JASSM's significant standoff range keeps Air Force and Navy aircrews well out of danger from hostile air defense systems.
The missile's mission effectiveness approaches single- missile target kill capability. The weapon is taylor made for the new "netcentric" way of assigning targets. This includes furture creative upgrades with a two-way command ability so that it can be retargeted after launch and loiter.
The U.S. fiscal 2005 budget request, now under consideration by Congress, seeks $148 million for the Air Force to buy 360 JASSMs, up from 240 missiles in FY '04 and 100 missiles in FY '03. The Air Force plans to buy a total of 4,900 JASSMs over the life of the program. This includes the JASSM-ER, an extended range version.
The cost of JASSM should be less than half of previous older cruise missiles that cost around 1 million dollars each. The weapon will be produced in Troy, Alabama. This facility is being expanded to increase JASSM production from a current rate of more than eight missiles a month to a future rate of up to 40 missiles a month.