The Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a $107 million contract for the seventh production lot of the JASSM cruise missile, the company announced June 25. This lot covers 111 missiles, which brings USAF’s order to date to 1,053 missiles of the total 4,900 planned. The Lot 7 deal is the first contract award since the JASSM program was recertified to Congress in May after a thorough Office of the Secretary of Defense-led review brought on by a spate of test failures in 2007 and burgeoning costs due to programmatic changes. Lockheed’s statement said the missile has since then has “proved its reliability and capabilities across a wide variety of targets,” including hardened, underground bunkers and air defense systems.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.