The US Navy has completed a series of captive-flight tests on Raytheon‘s joint stand-off weapon (JOSW) C-1, paving the way to conduct free-flight tests later this year.

The test was conducted on an F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, to demonstrate the weapon’s ability to detect and track moving targets, provide in-flight updates, retarget in flight, and hand-off in-flight control to a third party source.

JSOW belongs to a family of low-cost, air-to-surface weapons that employ an integrated GPS-inertial navigation system and terminal imaging infrared seeker that guides the weapon to the target.

Raytheon’s JSOW programme director Phyllis McEnroe said, “JSOW C-1 is the only air-launched weapon in production that enables the warfighter to engage moving ships over the horizon, and it’s approved for export.”

The weapon will reach its initial operational capability in 2013.