The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has advised that the US State Department has approved the possible foreign military sale (FMS) of the Lockheed Martin AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range (JASSM-ER) to Australia.
The US$235m (A$340m) deal for 80 JASSM-ERs also includes missile containers and support equipment, training rounds, spare parts and consumables, integration and test support and equipment, training, and technical publications.
The notification follows an announcement in April that Australia would fast-track a buy of long-range strike missiles, including the JASSM-ER, the similar AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), and the ship-launched Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM).
The Royal Australian Air Force plans to employ the JASSM-ER from its Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets and Lockheed Martin F-35A fighters. The JASSM-ER has been integrated with the US Air Force’s B-1B, B-52H, F-15E, and F-16C, and the US Navy’s F/A-18E/F, and the missile is planned to be integrated with the F-35A and F-35C as part of the JSF program’s Block 4 upgrade from 2023/24.
The 1,000km-range JASSM-ER shares a similar low-observable airframe with the shorter-range AGM-158A JASSM, and the LRASM. The RAAF acquired the JASSM in 2005 under Project AIR 5418 to equip its now-retired F/A-18A/B classic Hornets, and plans to employ the LRASM from its Super Hornets, F-35As, and possibly the P-8A Poseidon.