Military


JASSM-Extended Range (JASSM-ER)

The extended-range version of the AGM-158 JASSM, called JASSM-ER, would increase the JASSM's standoff distance to over 500 nautical miles. Lockheed Martin, which builds the missile, believes that a more efficient engine and using internal volume for additional fuel would allow the longer range without changing the weapon's external dimensions, called the "mold line." Keeping the same mold line would dramatically reduce development and test cost and time. JASSM-Extended Range (ER) was a spiral development program. JASSM-ER started development in late FY03 with congressional plus-up funds. Development was expected to end in FY07 when the program would enter production with the first deliveries in FY08.

Although it looks the same and provides all the capabilities of the baseline missile, it has a new engine and larger fuel load capability. This allows it to extend its range. And it is still deadly accurate to within three meters. These low-risk modifications were made without disturbing the missile's outer shape and size, thus reducing the cost and development time for the effort. Like the original JASSM, the new missile uses its inertial navigation and global positioning systems to find its intended target and then its infrared seeker for pinpoint accuracy right before impact. Aircraft can release the missile in virtually any weather. With its extended range, it will provide combatant commanders another tool once it reaches the Air Force inventory.

A 2,000-pound class weapon with a dual-mode penetrator and blast fragmentation warhead, JASSM-ER cruises autonomously in adverse weather, day or night, using a state-of-the-art infrared seeker in addition to the enhanced digital anti-jam Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to find a specific aimpoint on the target. Its stealthy airframe makes it extremely difficult for air defense systems to engage.

The development and procurement of JASSM-ER is a key element of the B-1B reinvestment strategy. The additional range provided by the JASSM-ER missile benefits the B-1B with responsive, precision-engagement capability while remaining clear of highly defended airspace and beyond the range of long-range, surface-to-air missiles. A primary JASSM-ER program objective is to provide the warfighter with a significant operational capability benefit of greater than 2.5 times the increase in missile range, while maintaining the same outer mold line, reliability, survivability and lethality of the baseline JASSM missile. The B-1B is the missile's threshold aircraft. But plans are in the works to integrate it onto other systems. Like the baseline version (B-1B), JASSM-ER will be capable of employment from the B-2, B-52, F-15 and F-16.

Carbon-carbon (C-C) composite cages show great payoff in high performance, marginally-lubricated bearing applications. One success involves their use in fuel lubricated bearings being evaluated in 2002 by Williams International (WI) for the F107 turbofan engine, which powers the Tomahawk cruise missile. Full-scale, fuel-lubricated bearing tests conducted by WI under an Independent Research and Development (IRAD) effort demonstrated significant performance advantages over cageless and steel-cage bearing designs in over 1,000 hours of accumulated test time. This technology is scheduled for transition into a lowcost, fuel lubricated version of the F107 engine being considered by Lockheed and the Air Force for the Extended Range Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM-ER). This will be the first full-production application of C-C cages, if the engine is selected by the Lockheed/Air Force team.

The Program Executive Officer for Weapons issued a development contract for the JASSM-ER, an extended range variant of JASSM, on February 20, 2004. The contract decision was not vetted within the offices of the Secretary of Defense or the Joint Staff even though the changes included a new engine, new inlet, additional fuel capacity, and modifications to hardware and software affected by the extended range requirement. In addition, even though the Joint Requirements Oversight Council reviewed the JASSM Milestone III ORD, which included a reference to an extended range capability, it did not fully assess the JASSM-ER requirements before contract award.

The Joint Capabilities Board (JCB) JCB met on 17 November 2004 from 1300- 1600 in the National Military Command Center. The JCB received a briefing on the Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) Operational Requirements Document (ORD) Annex. The briefer had been asked to return to the JCB after resolving and coordinating an issue from a prior briefing regarding the missile mission effectiveness (MME) key performance parameter (KPP). The JCB accepted the briefing, directed that the MME KPP be reinstated in the ORD and the briefing be forwarded to the JROC via paper JROC.

In May 2006 Harris Corporation announced that it has been selected by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) for a 2-year, $10 million development contract to provide the Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile - Extended Range (JASSM ER) weapon data link (WDL) transceiver. The WDL will enable the JASSM ER to engage relocatable and time-critical targets. Harris has a legacy of successfully developing weapon data links, and the JASSM WDL will incorporate the very latest in Software Defined Radio (SDR) and encryption technology from our government communications and RF businesses.

Harris will design, fabricate, test and deliver a state-of-the-art, miniaturized, two-way data link transceiver module for JASSM beyond-line-of-sight communications. The WDL incorporates the company's latest SDR technology -- which is compliant with the Software Communications Architecture (SCA) -- and incorporates the Harris Sierra(TM) II Type-1, NSA-certified COMSEC module in order to satisfy current and future data link waveform and encryption requirements. The addition of the weapon data link to the JASSM ER significantly enhances the battlespace commander's situational awareness through real-time weapon-in-flight tracking. In addition, a weapon data link-equipped JASSM ER can be re-tasked in-flight, allowing adjustment for "pop-up" targets.

When the Air Force successfully launched its newest cruise missile for the first time on 18 May 2006, it marked a significant step toward making the job of the pilots who deliver the weapon a lot less risky. A B-1B Lancer released the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile -- Extended Range over the White Sands Missile Range in the New Mexico desert. The missile successfully cruised more than 400 nautical miles to its static target of cargo containers. The launch was the first in a series of flight tests scheduled to run through December 2008.

In August 2006 Lockheed Martin's extended-range JASSMT system has successfully performed its second flight test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. This flight marks the beginning in a series of integrated U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin development and evaluation test flights to prove out the JASSM-ER missile configuration on the B-1B aircraft platform. The first two JASSM-ER integrated test missiles kick off a test program designed to advance JASSM-ER into Operational Test and Evaluation that will initiate in mid-2008. In this test, the JASSM-ER missile successfully separated from a B-1B, deployed its wings and tail and started its engine. The missile climbed to the preplanned cruise altitude, navigated via predetermined waypoints and descended to a selected altitude above ground level for target ingress. The missile performed a terminal maneuver allowing the missile to demonstrate the desired impact angle and accuracy.

"We recognize that the key to bringing this missile to the warfighter in 2008 is to address Senate concerns for JASSM-ER testing concurrency," said Mike Inderhees, JASSM program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "We are working with the Air Force to address the testing concurrency concerns sited in the Senate Appropriations Committee - Defense (SAC-D) Fiscal Year 2007 markup. We are considering additional Lot 6 procurement strategies to address these concerns. Our goal is to provide the warfighter an outstanding operational capability for first-day strike of heavily defended targets, and we understand the criticality of JASSM-ER to the warfighter."

As of March 2008, the USAF planned to buy a total of 2,500 JASSM-ER missiles. It should arrive in fiscal 2009.




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