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JASSM-ER Test Flights Highlight Outstanding Development Effort

JASSM-ER is an autonomous, air-to-ground, precision-guided standoff missile designed to meet the needs of U.S. Warfighters. It shares the same powerful capabilities and stealthy characteristics of the baseline JASSM, but with more than two-and-a-half times the range.
by Staff Writers
Orlando FL (SPX) Nov 19, 2010
Lockheed Martin's Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile - Extended Range (JASSM-ER) recently flew two successful test flights at White Sands Missile Range, NM, increasing the program's success rate to 91 percent in 11 flights. The live 2,000-pound class missiles, released from B-1B bombers, effectively navigated to and destroyed their intended targets.

The primary flight test objectives were to demonstrate end-to-end system performance while exercising the missile's alternate terminal engagement profile and Time-on-Target (TOT) mode: the ability to control time of flight to engage time critical targets. During the TOT first-time event for JASSM-ER, the missile adjusted its cruising speed throughout the flight profile based on winds and other atmospheric data.

The first JASSM-ER missile was released from an altitude of 13,000 feet and a speed of 0.72 Mach, while the second missile was released from 30,000 feet at 0.88 Mach.

"JASSM-ER delivered outstanding performance through developmental flight testing as evidenced by 10 of 11 successful flights," said Alan Jackson, JASSM program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

"As the program transitions to production, we'll take the next step toward providing this critical long-range strike capability to the Warfighter."

Col. Steve Demers, United States Air Force JASSM Program Manager, stated, "In my 25 years of Air Force Acquisition, I have never seen a more successful air launched cruise missile developmental test program! I'm confident JASSM-ER is ready for production."

The Milestone C low rate initial production (LRIP) decision is scheduled for December 2, with contract award for 30 tactical JASSM-ER missiles expected in January. The Initial Operational Test and Evaluation phase, comprising 16 flights, would commence in the second quarter of 2011, with production missile deliveries beginning in late 2012.

JASSM-ER is an autonomous, air-to-ground, precision-guided standoff missile designed to meet the needs of U.S. Warfighters. It shares the same powerful capabilities and stealthy characteristics of the baseline JASSM, but with more than two-and-a-half times the range.

This additional reach allows Warfighters to deploy JASSM-ER against high-value, well-fortified, fixed and relocateable targets while remaining clear of highly defended airspace and long-range surface-to-air missiles.

Produced at the company's award-winning manufacturing facility in Troy, AL, Lockheed Martin has assembled more than 1,000 JASSM missiles for testing and operational use since late 1999.

Armed with a dual-mode penetrator and blast fragmentation warhead, JASSM-ER cruises autonomously day or night in all weather conditions. The missile employs a state-of-the-art infrared seeker and enhanced digital anti-jam Global Positioning System receiver to precisely engage specific target aimpoints.

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