JASSM & JOBSPublished 11:01pm Thursday, January 9, 2014
Two new production contracts could result in as many as 100 new jobs at Lockheed Martin’s Pike County Operations facility.
The U.S. Air Force awarded $449 million to Lockheed Martin on Dec. 19, 2013, for the continued production of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile and the Extended Range version of the missile.
Dave Anderson, Pike County Operations site director for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said the new contracts would mean an increase in production in the next few years.
“We begin expansion of our current JASSM facility to support increased production rates in the first quarter of 2014, and are adding approximately 30 additional employees to the JASSM production line over the next few years,” Anderson said. “With the expansion of this and several other production buildings, we expect to create approximately 100 new jobs here in Troy between now and 2020.”
According to a media release from Lockheed Martin, this will be the first time the JASSM program has been issued two consecutive contracts at once.
Using an infrared seeker and global positioning system, the 2,000-pound JASSM and JASSM-ER cruise autonomously in any weather conditions. Because the JASSM-ER has more than two-and-a-half times the range of the baseline JASSM, it can be launched from a greater distance.
The missiles are used on the Air Force’s B-1B, B-2, B-52, F-16 and F-15E. The B-1B also carries JASSM-ER.
Internationally, JASSM is on the Royal Australian Air Force’s F/A-18A/B and will eventually be used on the U.S. and international versions of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jets.
Lot 11 and Lot 12 include the production of 340 baseline missiles and 100 ER missiles. The contracts also include systems engineering, logistics support, tooling and test equipment.
“These contracts bring the total number of JASSM cruise missiles on contract to over 2,100, and underscore the U.S. Air Force’s and Lockheed Martin’s commitment to the program,” said Jason Denney, program director of Long Range Strike Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, in the media release. “JASSM’s high reliability and capability allow it to defeat high-value, well-defended current and future threats.”
“JASSM is the largest missile program we support at our Pike County Operations facility,” Anderson said in an email Thursday. “Over 110 fulltime employees are engaged in manufacturing JASSMs here. Recent contract awards such as this … ensure that we’ll be making JASSMs in Troy for years to come.”