Air Weapons: May 7, 2002

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The Air Force has decided it cannot spare any more nuclear AGM-86 air-launched cruise missiles for conversion into conventional cruise missiles. To provide this capability, the Air Force will buy an extended range version of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile. (The original missile is known as JASSM; the new missile will be JASSM-ER.) The Extended Range version will have a range of nearly 1,000 kilometers, compared to 360 kilometers for the original version. The JASSM-ER will be primarily used by the B-1B (which can carry 24), but it would also fit into the B-2A and B-52H and could be carried by the F-16. The Navy, which will use the JASSM on its F-18s has expressed no interest so far in the Extended Range version.--Stephen V Cole


 


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