U.S. Air Force Increases Potential Production Quantities of JASSM, LRASM Missiles

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) is increasing the potential production quantities of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM) and Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM), the service said in a sources-sought notice issued on Sept. 27.

According to the notice, the potential production quantities of JASSM missiles will be increased from a possible maximum of 4,900 to a possible maximum of 10,000 and the quantities of LRASM missiles from a possible maximum of 110 to a possible maximum of 400.

The notice added that the service is currently conducting market research seeking capabilities statements from potential sources that are capable of providing up to 390 JASSM-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) missiles starting in Lot 18, then 360 JASSM-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) missiles and 40 JASSM-D (earlier called JASSM-XR – eXtreme Range) missiles in Lot 19, reaching a maximum rate of 550 per Lot in subsequent Lots, continuing through Lot 30. This also includes 50 LRASM missiles in LRASM Lot 4, reaching a maximum rate of 96 per Lot in subsequent Lots, continuing through Lot 8.

This effort also includes sustainment efforts to include operational safety, suitability, and effectiveness.

AGM-158 JASSM

The AGM-158 JASSM is a low observable standoff air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) developed by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Armed Forces.

JASSM is a large, stealthy weapon with a 1,000 pound (454 kg) WDU-42/B armor-piercing penetrator warhead and a range of about 230 miles (370 km). It is designed to destroy enemy air defenses and high value, well-defended, fixed and relocatable targets while keeping aircraft safely out of range from hostile air defense systems.

The missile was introduced into USAF service in 2009 an has also entered foreign service with Australia, Finland, and Poland. The JASSM is/will be carried by a wide range of aircraft: including F-15E; F-16; F/A-18; F-35; B-1B; B-2; and B-52.

AGM-158B JASSM-ER

AGM-158B JASSM-ER (JASSM-Extended Range) is the extended range version of the JASSM missile.

Using a more efficient engine and larger fuel volume in an airframe with the same external dimensions as the JASSM, the JASSM-ER is intended to have a range of over 575 miles (925 km) as compared to the JASSM’s range of about 230 miles.

Other possible improvements were studied but ultimately not pursued, including a submunition dispenser warhead, new types of homing head, and a new engine giving ranges in excess of 620 miles (1,000 km). The JASSM-ER has 70% hardware commonality and 95% software commonality with the original AGM-158 JASSM.

The first flight test of the JASSM-ER occurred on May 18, 2006, when a missile was launched from a USAF B-1 bomber at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Although the B-1 was initially the only aircraft able to deploy it, it was later integrated onto the B-52, F-15E, and F-16.

The JASSM-ER entered service with the USAF in April 2014.

AGM-158C LRASM

AGM-158C LRASM is the anti-ship variant of the JASSM-ER missile with a new seeker.

The Air Force used the B-1 Lancer to complete a captive carry test of an LRASM to ensure the bomber can carry it, as both missiles use the same airframe. The LRASM was not originally planned to be deployed on the B-1, being intended solely as a technology demonstrator, but in February 2014 the Pentagon authorized the LRASM to be integrated onto air platforms, including the Air Force B-1, as an operational weapon to address the needs of the Navy and Air Force to have a modern anti-ship missile.

In August 2015, the Navy officially designated the air-launched LRASM as “AGM-158C”. The LRASM achieved Early Operational Capability on the B-1B in December 2018.

AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM)
Lockheed Martin’s Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM). (PRNewsfoto/Lockheed Martin)

AGM-158D JASSM-D

AGM-158D JASSM-D (formerly called JASSM-XR) is the “Extreme Range” variant in the JASSM family.

Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract to develop JASSM-XR in September 2018. The six-meter-long weapon would weigh about 5,000 lb (2,300 kg) and deliver a 2,000 lb (910 kg) warhead out to a range of 1,000 nmi (1,900 km; 1,200 miles).

Due to its high operational range and payload capacity, the cruise missile can reach deep into enemy territory with a large warhead to destroy hardened underground facilities and, cave and bunker complexes.

The missile is planned to be ready by 2023.



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