Australia removes JASSM, UAV from Projects of Concern list

Singapore
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Australia has removed two aerospace programmes from its Projects of Concern list, including the Lockheed Martin AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM).

Project Air 5418 Phase 1 to equip the Royal Australian Air Force's Boeing F/A-18A/B Hornets with JASSM was originally approved in 2005, but was added to the list when the Department of Defence failed to keep the government informed about its progress, said Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare.

"The JASSM project has been used as a case study for improvements in the management of major defence projects," said Clare.

JASSM was successfully tested in July and was certified for use on Australian Hornets in November.

The other acquisition removed from the list is Project Joint 129 Phase 2, which covers the purchase of five tactical unmanned air vehicles. The deal was approved in 2005, with the goal of obtaining the UAVs from commercial sources, but technical and schedule delays caused the project to be added to the list in 2008.

The original contract was cancelled in 2010, and the government instead purchased two AAI Shadow 200 UAVs under a Foreign Military Sales deal with the USA.

The first Shadow 200 has been delivered to Australian forces in Afghanistan, prompting the project to be removed from the list.