The RAAF’s AGM-158A Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-Off Missile (JASSM) has achieved its Final Operational Capability (FOC), Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnston has announced.
The weapon – which is built by Lockheed Martin and is also in use by the USAF – was acquired under Project AIR 5418 to give the RAAF’s classic Hornet fleet a 300km+ stand-off precision strike capability.
“The Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-Off Missile is now fully in service and is an extremely capable, long range missile that meets the future requirements of Air Force,” Senator Johnston said in a statement. “Successful JASSM integration forms a key piece of the strike capability and ensures that Air Force can meet future operational demands.”
Chief of Air Force, AIRMSHL Geoff Brown added, “This is a great achievement for Air Force and is a major milestone for our air combat capability. This long-range, highly accurate missile can be released far from enemy targets, keeping RAAF aircrew out of harm’s way without compromising mission objectives.”
The low-observable JASSM is operational on USAF B-1B, B-52H and F-16 aircraft, and has a 500kg warhead capable of destroying hardened or high-value targets. After a troubled integration program which saw AIR 5418 placed on the previous Labor government’s Projects of Concern list, the missile achieved an initial operational capability (IOC) in 2011 after a successful operational test and evaluation (OT&E) at Woomera.