LM rolls out latest missile Tuesday

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 23, 2000

Staff Writer

April 22, 2000 11 PM

Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations will roll out the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile this week.

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On Tuesday, officials will allow invited guests in for the rollout ceremony being held at the facility on County Road 37.

As the new generation missile, JASSM is designed to destroy high-value, well-defended fixed and relocatable targets. It was created following the Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile (TSSAM) Program because the Air Force and Navy needed a standoff weapon that could destroy the enemy even from outside the range of air defenses.

According to information from the JASSM Program Office at Elin Air Force Base, JASSM is "an autonomous, long-range, conventional air-to-ground precision standoff missile" being developed for the Air Force and Navy.

Design of the JASSM incorporates technology into a "highly survivable air vehicle to meet today’s threats and those of the 21st Century," Lockheed Martin’s web site states.

It has an infared imaging system capable of seeking its target under adverse weather conditions; an automatic target correlator that is insensitive to target area conditions and has a proven, high performance anti-jam GPS receiver.

The flexible missile and can be used on fighters and bombers for the Air Force or Navy that wants to hit a soft or hard, large or small target. It also has a high probability of survival against double digit threats.

JASSM’s high performance guidance system and balanced warhead design, combined with insensitive munition and a WDU-42B warhead, make it lethally precise.

As a final assembly facility, Lockheed’s Pike County plant is used to test articles for ability to withstand things, such as temperature and shaking. Those tests determine whether the design need improving before being used for real.

"The bid we delivered last month will be the first delivered from here," Hart said.

The highly technical mechanics of building a missile are top secret, but Hart said "it’s not real complicated."