Lockheed Martin is developing a new software module for its AGM-158 JASSM cruise missile that would allow the weapon to be released from Boeing F/A-18A/B and C/D fighters using interfaces already supported in the aircraft's operational flight program (OFP) software to support J-series bombs.

The integration is intended to avoid the complications of modifying the Hornet OFP software and to significantly shorten the lead time for introducing JASSM into operation with new users. Lockheed has already proposed such integration on Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18A/Bs as part of its bid for that service's current Project Air 5418 follow-on stand-off weapon competition.

The company is also in talks with the US Air Force about using a similar approach to integrate JASSM with Boeing F-15Es. "We are planning on making JASSM adapt to the aeroplane instead of the aeroplane adapting to JASSM," says Lockheed vice-president strike weapons Randy Bigum.

The competition also includes Boeing's SLAM-ER and Taurus Systems' KEPD-350, although Taurus is not expected to bid.

Source: Flight International