Aerial Warfare

Polish Ministry of Defence Signs Deal for JASSM-ER Air-launched Cruise Missiles

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Polish Ministry of Defence Signs Deal for JASSM-ER Air-launched Cruise Missiles

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Polish Ministry of Defence Signs Deal for JASSM-ER Air-launched Cruise Missiles
Polish Ministry of Defence Signs Deal for JASSM-ER Air-launched Cruise Missiles

The Polish Ministry of Defence has signed a landmark contract with the United States government for the acquisition of several hundred AGM-158B JASSM-ER (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range) air-launched cruise missiles. Announced on May 28, the deal, valued at approximately USD 735 million, underscores Poland’s commitment to enhancing its long-range strike capabilities amid evolving security dynamics in Europe. The procurement, facilitated by American defense contractor Lockheed Martin, marks a substantial investment in Poland’s defense infrastructure. Deliveries of the JASSM-ER (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range) are set to commence in 2026 and will be completed by 2030, aligning with Poland’s strategic defense planning timelines.

The Polish Ministry of National Defence confirmed that the contract encompasses “several hundred” units. This follows a March 2024 approval by the United States Department of State for the potential sale of up to 821 JASSM-ER missiles to Poland, indicating the scale and ambition of the procurement. The acquisition of these advanced cruise missiles is a direct response to lessons learned from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The war has highlighted the necessity of possessing capabilities to strike deep behind enemy lines, a requirement that the JASSM-ER’s 1,000 km range is well-suited to fulfill. These missiles will be integrated into the Polish Air Force’s existing arsenal, which already includes both JASSM and JASSM-ER variants, primarily deployed via F-16 fighter jets.

JASSM-ER ( Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range) air-launched cruise missile. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
JASSM-ER ( Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range) air-launched cruise missile. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

This procurement is part of a broader strategy to enhance Poland’s national defense posture. In April 2024, during a visit to a Lockheed Martin facility, then-Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki expressed interest in acquiring the JASSM-XR (Extreme Range) missiles, which boast an even greater range of 1,600-1,800 km. This interest underscores Poland’s strategic objective of developing a robust early warning and deterrence system. By securing this large contingent of JASSM-ER missiles, Poland aims to significantly strengthen its deterrence capabilities and ensure it remains prepared to counter potential threats. This acquisition is a critical component of Poland’s defense modernization efforts, reflecting its proactive stance in addressing regional security challenges.

The AGM-158 JASSM (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile) is a low detection standoff air-launched cruise missile developed by Lockheed Martin. An extended range version of the missile, the AGM-158B JASSM-ER (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range), entered service in 2014. On 14 May 2015, the head of the Air Force Research Laboratory nominated the JASSM-ER as the optimal air vehicle to carry the Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) payload. CHAMP is an electronic warfare technology that fries electronic equipment with bursts of high-power microwave energy, non-kinetically destroying them. The JASSM-ER was chosen because it is an operational system, so CHAMP is to be miniaturized into the operationally relevant system.

Polish Ministry of Defence Signs Deal for JASSM-ER Air-launched Cruise Missiles
JASSM-ER ( Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range) air-launched cruise missile. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

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