Lockheed Martin's Extended Range JASSM Cruise Missile Successful in Second Flight Test
ORLANDO, FL, 14-AUG-06 --
Lockheed Martin’s [NYSE: LMT] extended-range JASSM™ system has successfully performed its second flight test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The JASSM air-to-surface standoff missile system is the world’s first stealthy conventional cruise missile.
“This flight marks the beginning in a series of integrated U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin development and evaluation test flights to prove out the JASSM-ER missile configuration on the B-1B aircraft platform,” said U.S. Air Force Col. John R. Griggs, 308th Armament Systems Group Commander at Eglin Air Force Base, FL. “The first two JASSM-ER integrated test missiles kick off a test program designed to advance JASSM-ER into Operational Test and Evaluation that will initiate in mid-2008.”
In this test, the JASSM-ER missile successfully separated from a B-1B, deployed its wings and tail and started its engine. The missile climbed to the preplanned cruise altitude, navigated via predetermined waypoints and descended to a selected altitude above ground level for target ingress. The missile performed a terminal maneuver allowing the missile to demonstrate the desired impact angle and accuracy.
The development and procurement of JASSM-ER is a key element of the B-1B reinvestment strategy. The additional range provided by the JASSM-ER missile benefits the B-1B with responsive, precision-engagement capability while remaining clear of highly defended airspace and beyond the range of long-range, surface-to-air missiles. A primary JASSM-ER program objective is to provide the warfighter with a significant operational capability benefit of greater than 2.5 times the increase in missile range, while maintaining the same outer mold line, reliability, survivability and lethality of the baseline JASSM missile. The JASSM program has delivered on the flight test commitments made to the U.S. Air Force in early 2003, realizing two flight successes and a planned third flight test in September 2006.
“We recognize that the key to bringing this missile to the warfighter in 2008 is to address Senate concerns for JASSM-ER testing concurrency,” said Mike Inderhees, JASSM program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “We are working with the Air Force to address the testing concurrency concerns sited in the Senate Appropriations Committee – Defense (SAC-D) Fiscal Year 2007 markup. We are considering additional Lot 6 procurement strategies to address these concerns. Our goal is to provide the warfighter an outstanding operational capability for first-day strike of heavily defended targets, and we understand the criticality of JASSM-ER to the warfighter.”
A 2,000-pound class weapon with a dual-mode penetrator and blast fragmentation warhead, JASSM-ER 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. Structural testing confirmed that the JASSM-ER missile design will be compatible with the threshold B-1B platform as well as the B-2, B-52 and F-16 aircraft that currently deploy baseline JASSM.