The contract enables the companies to move forward with their Technical Assistance Agreement, making the SOM-J missile available to international customers. SOM-J integration into the F-35 is scheduled for Block 4. Early live flight testing will be conducted on Turkish F-16s.
"SOM-J integration on the F-35 will enable pilots to engage targets from long ranges while maintaining the aircraft's critical stealth capabilities," said Frank St. John, vice president at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.
SOM missile development began in 2006 and entered service with the Turkish Air Force in 2011. SOM-J is a smaller version of the subsonic SOM missile, which employs a 500-pound warhead and has a required range of more than 100 nautical miles. The SOM-J missile uses Global Positioning System as its primary guidance and is aided by inertial, terrain-referenced and image-based navigation systems, as well as an imaging infrared seeker.
In August, the F-35 Joint Program Office announced plans to issue a contract to Lockheed Martin to deliver a report which determines the design impacts of a proposed change on the overall F-35 weapon system, to include Mission Planning, Training and Reprogramming capabilities.