Lockheed Martin company concluded an agreement pertaining the production of the JASSM missiles, for the air forces of the United States of America, Finland and Poland. The value of the contract is contained in an amount of USD 302 million. Realization of the deliveries is scheduled to happen before 29th June 2019. Not only does the amount defining the contract include the sum for the missiles, but it also covers the remuneration for modifications of the system, integration, maintenance, management and logistic support.
This specific contract has been negotiated along with the previous one, concerning the 13th lot (in October 2015), as a procurement option for 2016. This is the last production lot, containing examples of both the JASSM missile, as well as the extended range JASSM-ER variant. All of the subsequent contracts shall include only production of the JASSM-ER missile which – having the same dimensions – has a range exceeding 900 kilometres.
From the Poland’s perspective, the contract is especially important, as it contains 36 out of 40 JASSM missiles Poland acquired together with a Mid-Life Upgrade programme for the F-16 jets, which are acting as a carrier for the weapon. Value of the deal is said to be contained in an amount of USD 250 million. Remaining four missiles have been includded in the 13th tranche which was a subject of the October 2015 agreement. These examples will be used for the testing purposes, related to the modified fighters. The initial two modified F-16 jets are going to reach operational capability in 2017. JASSM missiles for Poland are also going to be supplied that year.
According to the release published by the US Department of Defence, the Foreign Military Sales programme is going to cover USD 47.6 million, out of the total value of the deal, defined as USD 302 million. Within that tranche, procurement of the missiles for Poland and Finland is to be covered by the FMS programme.
A-variant missiles have a range of 370 kilometres. They are guided with an INS/GPS guidance system coupled with a thermal-vision optronic sensor. So far, USAF B-52H, B-1B, B-2, F-16 i F-15E, RAAF F/A-18A/B and Finnish Air Force’s F/A-18C/D have been tailored to carry the missile. In April 2014 AGM-158B JASSM-ER missiles have been introduced into service. Their range exceeds 900 kilometres. The ER variant may be launched – at the moment – only from the B-1B bombers. In the future, F-15E, F-16 an B-52H aircraft are also going to be tailored to carry the weapon. JASSM-ER is a subject of interest for the Polish Ministry of Defence.
In the future, integration of the JASSM-ER missiles with the F-35 jets, however the missiles are too long to fit in the weapons bay of this jet. Thus, the only way the F-35 could carry the missile could be realized by attaching the weapon to the underwing pylons. This would have a detrimental impact on the jet’s stealth properties.