AIR 5418 Phase 1
Prime Contractors: A FMS case was established with the US Air Force (USAF) in July 2006 to supply AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM).
2010/2011 spend: $70 million
A commercial contract was signed with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in September 2006 for support to integration of JASSM with F/A-18A/B aircraft, supply of technical data and documentation for JASSM airworthiness certification, and provision of an anti-surface warfare (maritime interdiction) capability study.
This phase of the project is acquiring JASSM for integration onto the F/A-18A/B aircraft to improve weapon terminal effectiveness against well defended targets. The project is to deliver an IOC in 2010 to engage fixed and relocatable land targets.
Flight testing to authorise the Australian F/A-18 A/B to carry JASSM has been conducted in Australia and was completed in April 2009. The USN continues to develop the F/A-18 A/B operational flight program software which will culminate in a live JASSM firing in the US from an Australian F/A-18A/B aircraft around June 2010. Following a successful US firing, an operational test firing will be conducted in Australia around September 2010 to confirm suitability of the JASSM capability to enter service.
The capability requirement to engage a moving maritime target is an option under the contract. Proceeding with this option is dependent on USAF development of an anti-surface warfare capability within a timeframe that is suitable for the Australian application. Defence-funded Lockheed Martin simulation studies into the missile performance in a maritime environment are now complete, and are informing Defence and Government decisions on whether to proceed with the moving maritime target capability.
The main risks to achieving IOC are timely development of the F/A-18 A/B Operational Flight Program by the USN and the completion of operational and test evaluation by Air Force culminating in a JASSM live fire at Woomera. The risks are being mitigated through close engagement with the USN, USAF, US Department of Defense and key Defence stakeholders to ensure that tasks are closely managed and key milestones met.