US Air Force approval for continued production of the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile could open the door for Lockheed Martin to secure orders for potentially hundreds of weapons for export customers.

The US Department of Defense recently blocked a request from Finland to acquire JASSM rounds to equip its air force Boeing F/A-18C/D fighters, but both the Netherlands and South Korea are now understood to be considering acquisitions.

Australia is already under contract as Lockheed's first overseas buyer for the stealthy cruise missile, with its air force scheduled to take its first delivery next year.

"We have received full support from our Australian customers throughout the recertification process," says Lockheed. "They recognise the critical capability provided by JASSM and plan to make it part of their inventory. We have met and continue to meet all Australian programme milestones."

Source: Flight International