The U.S. Air Force is awarding Boeing an $81.2 million contract modification to convert 227 surplus Air Launched Cruise Missiles to non-nuclear Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missiles.
The action is an add-on to the $41 million contract that was awarded to Boeing in April to convert 95 ALCMs to Block 1 CALCMs.
Boeing will convert 45 of the 227 ALCMs to a Block 1 configuration. The remaining 182 will be converted to a Block 1A configuration, which adds additional precision strike capability. The missiles will be delivered between late 1999 and early 2001.
CALCM is an affordable, long-range standoff weapon that has been employed effectively in combat in Operation Desert Storm, Desert Strike, Desert Fox and most recently Operation Allied Force. The CALCM has become an Air Force weapon of choice, principally because of its ability to deliver large (3,000-pound class), high-explosive payloads over long distances with exceptional accuracy.
The company's last conversions were completed by Boeing less than two years ago at its Oak Ridge, Tenn., facility. The new CALCM conversions will be performed in St. Charles, Mo., alongside production of the Harpoon and SLAM-ER missiles and the Air Force's Joint Direct Attack Munition. The first arrived in St. Charles in May.
Boeing personnel in Seattle will provide engineering and logistics support work.
"We're happy to continue our efforts supporting the Air Force on the CALCM program," said Chris Sales, Boeing CALCM program manager. "Although the original ALCM airframe was designed in the early 1980s as a 15-year weapon, it has proven itself as an enduring, dependable product. It is gratifying to see that the CALCM derivative will remain an Air Force weapon of choice deep into the next century."
In July 1998, the Air Force awarded Boeing a contract to retrofit all CALCMs with an upgraded navigation system. The missiles delivered under the latest contract will include these features.
Boeing began modifying some of the Air Force's to the CALCM configuration in 1986, and delivered the last unit on the initial CALCM contract in 1993. A Block 1 contract was awarded in June 1995 to convert missiles fitted with updated Global Positioning System navigation, more powerful warhead and various producibility enhancements which reduced the unit cost. In March 1996, Boeing received a contract for additional Block 1 conversions. The last of these missiles were delivered in December 1997.
Boeing is a world leader in cruise missiles, having produced nearly 11,000, including the Harpoon, SLAM and more than 1,700 ALCMs.