Lockheed Martin announced Tuesday that the extended-range version of its JASSM cruise missile performed well in two recent test flights at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. B-1B bombers released the missiles from different altitudes during the tests; each missile effectively navigated to its intended target and destroyed it, according to the company. These flights included exercising JASSM-ER’s ability to control the time of flight to engage time-critical targets. With these tests, Lockheed says the JASSM-ER model has been successful in 10 of 11 developmental flight tests. The defense acquisition board is scheduled to review the JASSM-ER program in early December and decide whether it may advance to its low-rate production phase. While the Government Accountability Office last month called on the Defense Department to defer this decision, Col. Steve Demers, the Air Force’s JASSM program manager, said in Lockheed’s release he’s “confident JASSM-ER is ready for production.”
Unlike nearly every other innovative technology throughout history, Maj. Gen. DeAnna M. Burt believes the space enterprise emerged backward. “Every other domain started with an entrepreneur who built something,” Burt, the special assistant to the Chief of Space Operations, told an audience at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference.