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Joint Common Missile

The Joint Common Missile (JCM) was intended as an air to surface weapon for use by joint and allied service manned and unmanned aircraft to destroy high value stationary, moving and relocatable land and naval targets. JCM was a joint program (DOD Pre-MDAP) with the Navy and USMC and was a Cooperative Development Program with the United Kingdom. JCM would have been used on joint and allied service helicopters, fixed wing aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) as an eventual replacement for the HELLFIRE, TOW and Maverick families of missiles. JCM had potential application for use on Army Future Force ground platforms. JCM would provide a common, multi-mode weapon capable of satisfying the needs across the joint platforms. It would autonomously engage targets using line-of-sight (LOS) and beyond line of sight (BLOS) engagement capabilities, including precision strike and fire-and-forget technologies. In the FY06 budget request, DoD terminated some programs whose cost-effectiveness no longer warranted their continuation, such as the C-130J and the JCM.

Intended to replace the aviation-launched TOW, the HELLFIRE family of missiles, and Maverick, JCM was to become the weapon of choice for Army rotary-wing systems including the Longbow Apache (AH-64D) and the planned Comanche (RAH-66), the latter of which was also canceled. JCM was also a lethality candidate for Future Combat Systems (FCS) ground platforms. The JCM was a Joint program (rotary and fixed wing requirements) with the Navy and USMC for the Super Hornet (F/A-18E/F), the Seahawk (MH-60R), and Super Cobra (AH-1Z). Finally, JCM is a cooperative development program with the United Kingdom for their fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

The Joint Common Missile started as an effort to modernize the HELLFIRE missile. The JCM expanded to include Army, Navy, and Marine Corps requirements for air-to-surface missiles (Joint), as well as incorporating the United Kingdom (UK) as an international partner (specifically building to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) standards, which has assisted in this process). The final operating capability of JCM was to provide one missile for all rotary and fixed wing aircraft. It would include a package of three different sensors, countermeasures, multi-effects warhead, and a propulsion package that exceeded the capability of existing fielded systems. The requirement was for the JCM to be contained within the same physical dimensions as the current HELLFIRE missile.

The JCM was expected to maximize the warfighters' operational flexibility by effectively engaging a variety of stationary and mobile targets on the battlefield, including advanced armor, bunkers, buildings, patrol craft, command and control vehicles, transporter/erector/launchers (TEL; that is mobile ballistic missile launchers, e. g., SCUD) and light armored vehicles. Its multi-mode seeker would allow maximum capability in adverse weather, day or night, and in an obscured/countermeasure environment against both stationary and moving targets. JCM would support more efficient logistics for expeditionary force tailoring by replacing several missile variants with a single, interoperable weapon. It would also allow flexibility in the location of resupply on the battlefield, thereby minimizing the logistic burden of the combat force. JCM's modular design would reduce life-cycle costs, including demilitarization, while ensuring the missile system continues to provide the required improvements to keep pace with needed capabilities and advancing threats.

The Joint Common Missile was viewed as key to the Army transformation effort and is therefore a "must fund" program. The Modernized HELLFIRE was intended to be the baseline program in moving toward a common chemical energy missile in the future. The Common Missile was to replace both the HELLFIRE and TOW and would be backward compatible with legacy platforms. Furthermore, the Common Missile would be used not only on Army rotary aircraft and ground systems, but also on fixed-wing aircraft. In the mid and long term, technology insertion would take place through evolutionary acquisition.

Both the Ground to Ground and Air to Ground Operational Requirements Documents (ORD) were consolidated into the Common Missile ORD, for which the suspense (TRADOC) was the first quarter of FY01. As the Army was seeking technology integration opportunities across the government and industry spectrum, significant cost savings were expected primarily in the production and sustainment phase. The intent was to have two system contractors for maximum competition in the production phase.

The Army's inventory of TOW 2A, TOW 2B and HELLFIRE missiles was intented to be replaced by 73,000 Common Missiles, with low-rate initial production scheduled for FY08 and first unit equipped in FY10. The JCM would be a chemical energy missile for use in both ground and air-to-ground applications. The JCM would also use Simulation and Modeling computer models, designs and simulations as deliverables, which will be used to assess technology and system integration levels of maturity.

Among the JCM's key performance requirements would be that it would engage critical, high-value targets at increased standoff ranges. In terms of logistics and support, CM would have embedded diagnostics and training. It would also leverage the Research Development and Engineering Center's advances from the Future Missile Technology Integration effort, including controllable thrust propulsion. JCM's technological advances would include a tri-mode seeker: semi-active laser, millimeter wave radar and focal plane array radar. The JCM's physical configuration was expected to be six inches in diameter, 50 inches long and weigh no more than 70 pounds.

The JCM fully supported the Army chief of staff's initiative to achieve first-round kills with smaller-caliber solutions. JCM also supported the battlefield commander's operational and logistics flexibility, by providing a common-caliber system for both air and ground use, while achieving life cycle cost savings. JCM would also have a reduced logistics footprint and maintain overmatch lethality, with increased range.

The JCM was expected to use technology insertion through evolutionary acquisition. The evolving threat required more capable missile systems, and aging stockpiles and shelf-life expiration dates are fast approaching. So JCM not only had to be future-oriented, but also would need to be backward compatible with legacy platforms.

In the objective force, a projected JCM load on the planned RAH-66 Comanche would provide 480 pounds back to the airframe. That weight trade, in turn, could be used to increase the performance and provide additional fuel on board the aircraft.

A key JCM goal was to maintain competition throughout the program so that the government could be assured of always getting the best value. In addition to having a signed Memorandum of Understanding with the United Kingdom, the program also had a signed Joint Integrated Operational Requirement Document, that would include Navy and Marine Corps participation.

With the awarding of $13,172,200 in JCM (then simply Common Missile) contracts, the PEO for Tactical Missiles was moving forward in the JCM development efforts. Raytheon, Tucson, Arizona, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Florida, and the Boeing Company, Huntsville, Texas, began risk reduction, concept and technology development work which was completed in FY03. At that time the Program Executive Office evaluated the capabilities to build the JCM.

The Joint Common Missile (JCM) program would be the first Missile program to reach a Milestone B decision without conducting a live fire test. This was due to the dependence placed on Modeling and Simulation (M&S) as opposed to a full prototype test. The work JCM performed to develop this level of confidence in their M&S assets was the primary focus of this Lessons Learned (LL) for Simulation and Modeling for Acquisition, Requirements and Training (SMART). The program was in the Technology Development (TD) phase with several competing contractor teams preparing for Milestone B in 2004. Lessons Learned Study documents significant findings showing how the JCM program was implementing SMART concepts that were beneficial to the entire Army.

In JCM's previous phase (Concept and Technology Development, C/TD), JCM contractors were selected via full and open competition. The JCM program's acquisition strategy consisted of two increments in an evolutionary acquisition: the full Increment 1 capability will be acquired in a 48 month System Development and Demonstration effort through a two-phased approach. Phase 1 would focus on risk mitigation culminating in a system Preliminary Design Review (PDR). Immediately following, Phase 2 would focus on system integration and demonstration leading to a Milestone C decision.

The Increment 1 SDD effort was competed among the C/TD contractors for contract award covering Phase 1 and Phase 2 development. On 22 April 2004, the Acting Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) (USD(AT&L)) chaired a Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) decision review to assess the JCM's readiness for entrance into System Development and Demonstration (SDD). Approval was granted for the program to enter into SDD for the first increment of JCM capability and the program was designated an Acquisition Category ID program. The program was approved as a Lockheed-Martin pre-planned product improvement by the Secretary of the Air Force. The System Design and Development effort was anticipated to be a Cost Plus Award Fee Contract. The Award Fee program would provide incentives on contractor performance including the development of a production unit cost for follow on production contracts.

On 5 May 2004 Lockheed Martin won an order to develop and build the Joint Common Missile for the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, beating Boeing and Raytheon in the competition. The contract with Lockheed was worth as much as $1.6 billion to develop the Joint Common Missile. The initial order also covered the first two production batches, or as many as 2,700 of 55,000 missiles, a program the company estimates could be worth as much as $5.5 billion over 20 years.




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