Warplanes: May 8, 2000


: The U.S. Air Force and Navy are having the usual problems developing their "21st Century Cruise Missile (the JASSM, or Joint Air-to-Surface Stand Off Missile.) It's apparently going to take 78 months to get this new weapon into service, rather than the originally planned Actually its' a short range cruise missile, with a range of some 280 kilometers. Tests so far have been successful, but the technology has proven more difficult than expected to perfect for mass production. It's also going to be more expensive than planned, with the actual cost coming it at some $700,000 per missile rather than $327,000. The JASSM uses satellite signals for guidance and is "stealthy" (harder to detect by radar). The missile can also be carried by smaller aircraft, like the F-16 and F-15.The Air Force plans will get 1,165 missiles between 1001 and 2005: The first 95 will enter service in 2001, followed by 100 in 2002, 250 in 2003, 360 in 2004 and 360 in 2005.


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