The US Navy has successfully completed back-to-back flight tests of Raytheon's Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) launched from F/A-18F Super Hornet multirole fighter jets, demonstrating their operational capability.
During testing, two JSOW II C air-to-ground weapons were launched from approximately 25,000ft, which flew pre-scheduled routes prior to destroying simulated cave targets.
Raytheon Missile Systems JSOW programme director Celeste Mohr said that these test shots further validate JSOW's ability to deliver decisive battlefield effects against one of the most challenging land targets facing the warfighters.
"Naval aviators employed JSOW's firepower in a tactically realistic cave scenario that included heavy radio frequency countermeasures," Mohr said.
"The result was two direct hits - it's all about sharpening the edge."
Incorporating a GPS-inertial navigation system, with highly capable guidance algorithms, the JSOW C weaponry system is designed to offer fleet forces with strong and flexible capability against high-value land targets, at launch ranges of around 70nm.
JSOW C also uses an imaging infrared seeker to boost accuracy in the terminal phase.
The all-weather, day or night, launch-and-leave JSOW C-1 variant offers upgraded capabilities to strike moving maritime targets, while the two-way Strike Common Weapon Datalink enables the aircraft to relay targeting information to the weapon.
The latest trial comes in the wake of $80.5m contract awarded to Raytheon to produce 200 full-rate production lot ten AGM-154C-1 unitary JSOWs in January.
Image: A US Navy (USN) F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft on board the USN Nimitz Class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. Photo: courtesy of Phan Phillip A. McDaniel.