Lockheed Martin and the Turkish company Roketsan, Inc. announced Wednesday they have partnered to develop a new long-range, air-breathing stealth cruise missile capable of being carried internally on the F-35 and externally on other aircraft. It is called the SOM-J, for Stand-Off Missile-Joint Strike Fighter. It will have GPS guidance, terrain-following capability when GPS is not available, and an imaging infrared terminal seeker, although a datalink has not yet been selected. Turkey has a requirement for such a weapon in 1,000-pound class with a range in excess of 100 nautical miles, Lockheed Martin Strike Systems Director Alan Jackson told Air Force Magazine in an interview. “We … believe there will also be some tangible benefits to the US,” Jackson said, noting that although there is no “stated, funded” requirement for such a weapon among US F-35 users, there’s “nothing on the books” filling such a niche besides “a glide weapon.” Much risk reduction has already been done by Rocketsan, which is flying the 2000-pound-class Stand-Off Missile (SOM) now on Turkish F-16 and F-4 fighters. Some technology from Lockheed’s JASSM cruise missile will also be incorporated. Roketsan will do final assembly for any Turkish military SOM-J production; Lockheed would do the same for any US purchases in its Troy, Ala., facility, Jackson said. He declined to provide work- or cost-sharing information, but development is to be complete by 2018, so the SOM-J can be integrated in the F-35 Block IV upgrade. Integration is to be complete by 2023.
May 23, 2022
The Department of the Air Force announced the retirements of several key leaders within the Air Force and Space Force on May 23, while also unveiling more than a dozen new assignments for current or future one-star generals.