The US Navy’s F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft has successfully completed the first captive carriage test of the AGM-154 joint stand-off weapon (JSOW) C-1 variant at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, California.

The C-1 variant provides upgraded capability to strike moving maritime targets while the data link allows the aircraft to relay targeting information to the weapon.

Captive carriage testing is executed to ensure the C-1 maturity is sufficient to support more extensive testing to ensure warfighter requirements are met.

Precision strike weapons programme manager Captain Carl Chebi said the JSOW team had reached a critical milestone in the C-1 programme.

“The team is on target and moving towards the full system captive carriage test in spring and the first free flight event later this year,” he said.

The weapon was able to enter the Link-16 network to receive network-enabled messages, according to the report.

JSOW integrated product team lead Commander Douglas Phelan said the team planned and executed this event to test the JSOW C-1’s Link-16 network interoperability.

The JSOW team will conduct more captive carriage and free flights on the C-1 variant in 2011.

JSOW C-1 is an all-weather, day or night, launch-and-leave, network-enabled weapon that features a global positioning system / inertial navigation system and uses an infrared seeker for terminal guidance.