Boeing is set for a contract to build 30 AGM-84H SLAM-ER stand- off missiles worth $270 million, following US Navy approval of low-rate initial production. This follows a USN review of an operational test and evaluation report after recent tests. More trials will be completed by January, with a full-rate production decision early next year.

Full-rate production would involve Boeing modifying 56 shorter-range SLAM missiles a year. The USN has about 700 SLAMs. Modifications include fold-out wings for extended range, an upgraded warhead to increase penetration capability and software improvements.

Potential further upgrades include automatic target acquisition, where the seeker image is compared with a digital library, and incorporation of British Aerospace's Broach warhead.

Source: Flight International