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SKUNK WORKS GAINS NEW PENTAGON WORK.

Byline: Jim Skeen Daily News Staff Writer

The Pentagon is authorizing the full-scale development of an advanced cruise missile, a project expected eventually to cost $2 billion and keep 90 to 100 people employed in Palmdale in a major portion of the work.

The Pentagon is adding $132.8 million to a contract for the development of the joint air-to-surface standoff missile, known as JASSM. The contract is being handled by Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems, an administrative business unit formed to coordinate ventures involving more than one of Lockheed Martin's units.

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in Palmdale will perform 43 percent of the work on the program while Lockheed Martin Electronics and Missiles will perform 35 percent. The rest of the work will be divided among other locations.

At least 60 entire JASSMs and tips for 80 others will be built at Skunk Works. The Air Force wants 2,400 JASSMs. The Navy has not announced how many missiles it wants.

``The main thing they (Pentagon officials) are doing is authorizing the full-scale development, what we call the engineering and manufacturing development,'' said Doug McCurrach, a spokesman for Lockheed Electronics and Missiles. ``It was going to be a 36-month program. Now it will be a 40-month program. They wanted more risk reduction.''

In April, Lockheed Martin was selected over Boeing to build JASSM.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 17, 1998
Words:223
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