Lockheed Martin’s JASSM cruise missile programme has locked in a contract for 280 more missiles, with an even split of baseline and extended-range variants.
The Lot 13 contract continues the US Air Force’s transition to the latest Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) variant, which received full-rate production approval in 2014 with initial fielding on the Boeing B-1B bomber.
The $305 million contract, announced by USAF on 13 October, provides missiles, data, tooling and test equipment, says Lockheed. Delivery will be complete by June 2018.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control's recently-expanded plant in Troy, Alabama has delivered 1,700 missiles to date, mostly the baseline version that has been in production since 2001.
This latest order brings the total number of missiles on contract to 2,386, giving the Troy plant a sizable backlog of about 600-700 missiles. New baseline variants are going mostly to foreign military sale customers, like Poland, Australia and Finland.
“JASSM and JASSM-ER have an important role in the United States' and its allied partners’ long-term strategic defense plans,” says Jason Denney, Lockheed’s program director for long-range strike systems.
The JASSM programme with worth up to $450 million per year to the air force and is fully funded across the service’s five-year budget plan, with -ER production rising to 360 missile annually this 2016 fiscal year.