Australia has conducted two successful test firings of the Lockheed Martin AGM-158 JASSM missile from a Boeing F/A-18A/B Hornet, clearing the way for an initial operating capability by the end of 2011.
The second test took place last week, said Lockheed.
In both tests, conducted at the Woomera test range in South Australia, the weapon successfully penetrated a concrete target to the necessary thickness and destroyed it. This will likely clear the way for initial operating capability by the end of the year, said Lockheed.
In 2006, Australia selected the joint air-to-surface stand-off missile over Boeing's SLAM-ER cruise missile for its F/A-18s.
In November 2010, the JASSM acquisition - Project Air 5418 Phase 1 - was placed on Australia's projects of concern list. The list is designed to help the government and industry resolve issues with listed projects.
When the system was included, the defence minister was concerned that the government had not been kept informed about the programme's progress.
With the completion of two successful tests JASSM stands to be removed from the list, sources indicated.