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USAF orders Joint Strike Missile for its F-35s

3rd June 2024 - 10:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


USAF has become the third JSM customer behind Japan and Norway. (Image: Kongsberg)

The Joint Strike Missile (JSM) is a multirole version of the Naval Strike Missile. Norway funded the programme to develop and produce the JSM for the F-35 for anti-ship and land-attack missions.

The US Air Force has ordered JSMs from Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace under a US$141 million under a Undefinitised Contract Action (UCA) announced on 3 June.

The missile, a joint development by Raytheon and Kongsberg, has been designed for internal carriage on Lockheed Martin F-35A multirole aircraft.

Japan and Norway have already signed contracts for JSMs and full-operational capability is expected in 2025 with integration onto the latter’s F-35s. Missile deliveries for USAF will be expected to start in 2026.

Shephard Defence Insight noted that the JSM was designed to attack land and sea targets. It has a 230kg HE blast-fragmentation warhead and a range of 185–555km depending on the profile, with inertial, GPS and terrain-reference navigation systems. The missiles come with imaging, infrared homing and a target database.

Japan selected the JSM in 2017 and, on 1 December 2020, Kongsberg announced that it was awarded a second follow-on contract valued at NOK820 million (US$78 million) with Japan buying the JSM for their fleet of F-35 fighter aircraft.

In October 2021 Kongsberg announced that it would arm the Royal Norwegian Air Force fleet of F-35As with JSM under a NOK3.9 billion contract.

In 2023, Australia’s Strategic Defence Review noted that JSM would also be integrated onto the Royal Australian Air Force F-35A, with aircraft to be upgraded to Block 4 configuration.

The Shephard News Team


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