The Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin some $208.5 million for Lot 9 production of 200 JASSM cruise missiles. Of the order, 170 missiles will be in the baseline configuration and 30 will be in the extended-range format, said Lockheed officials Wednesday. This lot is the first to include JASSM-ER production units; extended-range missile production will commence in mid 2012 at the company’s plant in Troy, Ala., they said. The Lot 9 contract follows the Defense Acquisition Board’s decision in January that authorized JASSM-ER to proceed into low-rate initial production. The Air Force awarded the first $162.7 million installment on April 4 for 95 baseline and 30 extended-range missiles, which have more than two-and-a-half times the range of the baseline variant. On May 9 came the addition of $45.8 million for 75 more baseline missiles. With this lot, the Air Force has ordered more than 1,300 JASSMs.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.