Lockheed Martin Discusses Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range Development Contract, Strong Test Record
WASHINGTON, DC, 02-JUL-03 --
Lockheed Martin's [NYSE: LMT] recent $9.6 million contract award from the U.S. Air Force for Phase 1 of the Preplanned Product Improvement (P3I) of the baseline Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) was a primary topic of discussion Wednesday at the National Press Club, as was JASSM's outstanding test record. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control's Strike Weapons vice president, Randy Bigum, also spoke with journalists about the company's plans for a Phase I trade study of the extended range (ER) version of JASSM.
JASSM remains one of the Department of Defense's most successful testing programs, said Bigum. All solutions identified in development tests have been incorporated into the missile, and there is no indication of systemic concerns pertaining to operational testing. No retrofits, modifications or changes to fielded missiles were necessary as a result of testing, underscoring the fundamental strength of the JASSM design.
The JASSM-ER program will significantly increase missile range to greater than 500 nautical miles by incorporating a new engine and increasing the fuel loading. Both of these changes occur without affecting the missile's outer mold line, and these low-risk modifications dramatically reduce development and test costs and time.
JASSM-ER will provide aircrews an even greater standoff capability, which may be critical if the target cannot be overflown, said Dale Bridges, deputy director, Lethal Strike Program Office at Eglin Air Force Base, FL. The warfighter will be able to perform strike missions without a requirement to have air assets posted in the theater of operations. This system can truly revolutionize the way we handle conflicts throughout the world.
The ER contract award will be managed in two phases. Phase I focuses on system and subsystem-level trade studies. Design activity includes integrating a turbofan engine into the JASSM airframe, designing a modified fuel system and modifying the fuel tank structure to accommodate additional fuel volume. Phase I concludes in March 2004, and Phase II development concludes in concert with the Lot 6 award and insertion in November 2006.
The Phase I effort includes engine component fabrication and performance tests, procurement activities and Phase II development proposal activities. Phase II go-ahead initiates design verification testing and culminates with flight testing. The flight test plan includes nine development and operational tests.
The JASSM program is currently in Low Rate Initial Production of Lots 1 and 2, which began in late 2001, for the U.S. Air Force. A Milestone III Full Rate Production decision is planned for the latter part of 2003.
The extended range missile will be produced at Lockheed Martin's manufacturing facility in Troy, Ala., utilizing personnel who currently manufacture the baseline missile.
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 enhanced digital anti-jam Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to find a specific aimpoint on the target. Its stealthy airframe makes it extremely difficult for air defense systems to engage. The missile is planned for deployment on B-1, B-2, B-52, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control develops, manufactures and integrates world-class air defense, fire support, strike weapon, naval munition, combat vision, anti-armor and advanced product solutions and systems for U.S. and international armed forces.