|Missile Gets Go-ahead for Low-rate Initial Production |
Missile Gets Go-ahead for Low-rate Initial Production
Washington D.C. -- (AFPN) December 26, 2001 -- The military's newest stealth cruise missile is now one step closer to being delivered to warfighters.
Undersecretary of Defense Pete Aldridge gave the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile program the go-ahead for low-rate initial production Dec. 21. This decision will give the Air Force combat capability on the F-16 Fighting Falcons and B-52 Stratofortresses by 2003.
JASSM is a joint Air Force and Navy program developed and produced by Lockheed-Martin Integrated Systems. JASSM employs stealth, to penetrate enemy air defenses at ranges of more than 200 miles and, GPS coupled with a terminal seeker to precisely attack high-value targets. Unlike current cruise missiles, JASSM can be launched off most types of aircraft in the Air Force inventory. The 2,000-pound class weapon is planned for deployment on the B-1B Lancer, B-2 Spirit, B-52, F-16, and the Navy's F/A-18 E/F Hornet.
"We have a low-cost, high performance program and we came in below the objective of $400K in (fiscal) ‘95 dollars," said Terry Little, JASSM Air Force program director. As a result, the Air Force has increased its buy from 2,400 to 3,700 missiles.
"JASSM is a flagship program for acquisition excellence," said Dr. James G. Roche, secretary of the Air Force. "Not only do our combat forces get an unprecedented precision attack capability, but they get it at an affordable price never before achieved on a cruise missile program".
Air Force officials said the service plans to make the decision for full-rate production in late 2003.