Air Force, Lockheed ink deal for first entirely JASSM-ER lot

By Rachel Cohen / June 2, 2017 at 1:41 PM

Lockheed Martin this week won a nearly $414 million contract to build the 15th lot of its Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, the first batch that will consist only of the extended-range variant.

Production of 360 JASSM-ER missiles is paid for by fiscal year 2017 funds, the Defense Department said June 1. Work is scheduled to end by Aug. 31, 2020.

"The Lot 15 contract includes 360 JASSM-ER missiles, data, tooling and test equipment," Lockheed said in a press release Thursday. "These 360 missiles bring JASSM-ER missiles under contract to 910, and to more than 3,000 missiles for JASSM and JASSM-ER combined."

JASSM-ER cruise missiles can fly for 500 nautical miles, more than two-and-a-half times that of the baseline variant.

Inside Defense reported in April the company reached an agreement with the Air Force on the price of Lot 15, which will include 360 JASSM-ER units. Inside Defense reported in October Lockheed had expected a deal on that lot in December.

The Air Force included $441.4 million in its FY-18 budget request to buy 360 JASSM-ER missiles and additional equipment. The service says in the request buying 360 missiles per lot is the most efficient production rate. In total, the service plans to buy nearly 1,800 units from FY-18 to FY-22 and 4,900 JASSM variants over the life of the $5.9 billion program.

More than 2,150 JASSMs have been delivered from Lockheed's Troy, AL, facility. Lockheed and the Air Force are exploring several upgrades to the missile, including modifying it to carry other payloads and improving its range, navigation and other capabilities.

The 2,000-pound JASSM-ER is flown on the B-1B, was flight-tested on the F-15 earlier this year and is expected to move to the B-52 later in 2017, to the F-16 in 2018 and eventually to the B-2.