Our Price: $119.95
Quantity in Basket: None
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It is a large, semi-stealthy long-range weapon of the 2,000 pounds (910 kg) class. The missile began development in 1995, however a number of problems during its testing delayed its introduction into service until 2009. The JASSM is now entering service with a number of foreign nations as well, including Australia, the Netherlands and South Korea. An extended range version of the missile, the AGM-158B JASSM-ER (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range), is under development and is expected to deploy in 2013.
The JASSM project began in 1995 after the cancellation of the AGM-137 TSSAM project. The TSSAM was designed as a high precision stealthy missile for use at stand-off ranges, but poor management of the project resulted in rising costs. Since the requirement for such weapons still existed, the military quickly announced a follow-up project with similar goals. Initial contracts for two competing designs were awarded to Lockheed Martin and McDonnell Douglas in 1996, and the missile designations AGM-158A and AGM-159A were allocated to the two weapons. Lockheed Martin's AGM-158A won and a contract for further development was awarded in 1998.
In 1999, powered flight tests of the missile began. These were successful, and production of the JASSM began in December 2001. The weapon began operational testing and evaluation in 2002. Late that year, two missiles failed tests and the project was delayed for three months before completing development in April 2003. Two more launches failed, this time as a result of launcher and engine problems. In July 2007, a $68 million program to improve JASSM reliability and recertify the missile was approved by The Pentagon. A decision on whether to continue with the program was deferred until Spring 2008. Lockheed has agreed to fix the missiles at its own cost and has tightened up its manufacturing processes.
In 2006 the Australian government announced the selection of the Lockheed Martin JASSM to equip the Royal Australian Air Force's F/A-18 Hornet fighters. This announcement came as part of a program to phase out the RAAFs F-111 strike aircraft, replacing the AGM-142 Popeye stand off missile and providing a long-range strike capability to the Hornets. JASSM was selected over the SLAM-ER and the European Taurus KEPD 350 and as of mid-2010 the JASSM is in production for Australia and will soon enter service.