GAO calls for Delaying JASSM-ER Production Decision

The Government Accountability Office has urged the Defense Department to defer a production decision on the extended-range variant of the Air Force’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile until DOD officials re-evaluate the JASSM program’s affordability and cost-effectiveness. DOD has tentatively scheduled a review in November to decide whether JASSM-ER is ready to enter low-rate production. “A reevaluation of the JASSM program, given that most of its costs have yet to be incurred, is warranted before the decision to produce the JASSM-ER is made,” reads GAO’s October report. GAO acknowledges that the baseline JASSM’s performance has “significantly” improved since 2007 and that the JASSM-ER has done well in its testing so far. But it still has concerns over cost growth in the program. DOD, responding to GAO’s recommendation, asserted that JASSM-ER is ready for a production decision and has met expectations in flight tests. (Lockheed statement)