In a contract announcement on May 18, 2023, the United States Air Force (USAF) has awarded Lockheed Martin’s Missile and Fire Control division with up to $751 million worth arrangement to produce AGM-158B-2 JASSM (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile), along with associated equipment for Australia.
The USAF has been using JASSM-ER missiles since 2014. These weapons, with a range of 935 kilometers, are designed to destroy high-value targets and can be deployed from the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) Boeing F-35 Lightning II or Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet fighters.
Besides missile production, Lockheed Martin will also have to cover personnel training, technical documentation, engineering, transportation, repair, and technical support services. The contract Lockheed Martin won is set to be completed by the year 2027.
As tensions mount with China in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia has placed a high priority on improving its long-range strike capabilities. In 2020, the Australian Department of Defense confirmed it would acquire an unspecified number of Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) after a Foreign Military Sales deal to sell 200 of the stealthy anti-ship cruise missiles to Australia was approved.
Along with the Australian sale announced on May 18, 2023, Lockheed successfully secured a LRASM contract for the US military for over $443 million.