USAF operationally debuts JASSM-ER

An AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile - Extended Range (JASSM-ER) missile release from a USAF B-1B Lancer strategic bomber. USAF operationally debuted the JASSM-ER in allied strikes on Syria on 13/14 April. Source: Lockheed Martin

The US Air Force (USAF) has operationally debuted its Lockheed Martin AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile - Extended Range (JASSM-ER) missile during allied weapons strikes against Syrian chemical weapons research and storage facilities.

A total of 19 JASSM-ER munitions were launched from two USAF B-1B Lancer strategic bomber aircraft on 13-14 April. The USAF declared full operational capability of the JASSM-ER on the B-1B – which can accommodate 24 up to JASSM-ERs in its internal weapons stores – in December 2014.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, the service also declared FOC of JASSM-ER with the Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle multirole strike fighter, the first Universal Armament Interface (UAI)-compliant platform to field the weapon. Future integration efforts include the Lockheed Martin F-16C/D multirole fighter, the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber aircraft, and the Northrop Grumman’s B-2 Spirit strategic stealth bomber.

Externally identical in mold line and size to the baseline AGM-158A JASSM, JASSM-ER is 4.26 m in length, 450 mm in height, >635 mm in width, with a deployed wing span – as currently configured – of 2.7 m. Both variants share 70% of their hardware and 95% of their software.

With an estimated launch weight of 1,200 kg (2,645 lb), and equipped with a 1000 lb (454 kg) dual-mode penetrator/blast fragmentation warhead, the AGM-158B is a day/night all-weather capable weapon, furnished with an inertial navigation system (INS)/enhanced digital anti-jam Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to dial into specific target aimpoints, with an advanced imaging infrared seeker for terminal guidance.

Powered by a Williams International F107-WR-105 turbofan engine – which replaces the Teledyne J402-100 turbojet engine in the baseline AGM-158A – and with an added fuel capacity that does not impact the payload or electronics capability, the JASSM-ER solution extends the missile’s range from >200 nm to >500 nm.