Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS has entered into contract with Japan to supply the initial deliveries of Joint Strike Missile (JSM) for their fleet of F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.
The value and the volume of the contract was not disclosed by Kongsberg or the Government of Japan.
“This is an important international breakthrough which demonstrates the importance of cooperation between Norwegian authorities, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment and Norwegian industry”, says CEO of KONGSBERG Geir Håøy.
“The international F-35 user consortium is showing great interest in the JSM and KONGSBERG is very proud to have been selected by Japan to provide the JSM for their F-35 fleet. This is a major milestone for the JSM program, entering into the production phase”, says Eirik Lie, President, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS.
The JSM is the only long-range sea- and land-target missile that can be carried internally in the F-35 and thus ensuring the aircraft’s low-signature (stealth) capabilities.
JSM is an evolution of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) that was originally developed for the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN). JSM is designed specifically to fit in the internal weapons bay of the F-35A aircraft and will expand the overall capabilities of the F-35. No other weapon on the market today, can perform the same types of missions, claimed the company.
The JSM development started in 2008 and was completed in mid-2018 after a series of successful validation test firings.
According to FlightGlobal, the missile has an estimated range of 150 nmi (172 mi; 278 km). The range is dependent of the flight profile and Kongsberg claims that the range is over 100 nmi in low-low-low profile and over 300nmi in hi-hi-low flight profiles.
The achievement of initial operational capability (IOC) is expected in 2021 with the release of the F-35’s Block 4 software and the missile is expected to become fully operational in 2025.