Get All JASSMed About It

The Air Force has asked Lockheed Martin about increasing its Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile buy or adjusting its buy mix, said Frank St. John, company vice president of missiles and combat maneuver systems. “Right now, the plan is about 50-50,” said St. John on May 14 during a company media event in Crystal City Va. That means the Air Force has been intending to split its annual purchase of 240 rounds between the baseline JASSM model and the extended-range variant. The two versions have ranges of about 400 km and nearly 1000 km, respectively. However, as the Air Force confronts a worsening anti-access, area-denial threat and only one of its three bomber types—the stealthy B-2—can survive enemy air defenses, standoff weapons will be more essential. St. John said Lockheed Martin has the capacity to build “up to 360 a year” of either variant. The Air Force may want to shift the bulk of the buy to the longer legged JASSM-ER as its nonstealthy bombers must stand off at increasingly longer distances. “We are looking at different mixes,” said St. John, adding that the company could cut in a bigger ER share with Lot 13 and Lot 14. The Air Force’s program of record calls for 4,900 total JASSMs.