Raytheon_AGM-154 JSOW

Raytheon’s Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) C-1 has started integrated testing (IT) with the US Navy to validate its capabilities, such as controlling, updating and retargeting as required to destroy the target.

During the first flight, the JSOW C-1 was released by a navy F/A-18F Super Hornet to target a small manoeuvring ship, following which the weapon was retargeted while in flight to strike a large moving ship target by a second Super Hornet.

Prior to being retargeted, the JSOW C-1 was guided by the second Super Hornet toward the smaller ship target, that was located at a distance of 90km from the launch point.

While successfully engaging the larger ship target, the controlling fighter jet received status messages regarding weapon in-flight track and bomb hit indication from JSOW.

Samuel Hanaki, US Navy’s Precision Strike Weapons Program Office commander, said: "This flight test further demonstrates that JSOW C-1 can receive third party target updates in-flight, retarget after release and strike a precise point on a moving ship using the weapon’s autonomous terminal seeker."

"The all-weather, day or night, launch-and-leave JSOW C-1 variant provides the capability to strike moving maritime targets."

"The programme remains on track for reaching initial operational capability in 2013."

Celeste Mohr, Raytheon Missile Systems’ JSOW programme director, said: "JSOW C-1 brings US and allied warfighters the unique ability to engage moving ships as far as 100 kilometres away with an air-launched precision strike weapon."

Offering forces with greater effectiveness at sea, the JSOW family of low-cost air-to-ground medium-range, precision-guided glide weapons features an integrated GPS-inertial navigation system and terminal imaging infrared seeker to guide the weapon to the target.

The all-weather, day or night, launch-and-leave JSOW 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.

The weapon will also undergo two additional maritime free-flight tests, to validate its capability against moving maritime targets throughout 2012, while a land-based regression testing will be conducted to ensure its updated seeker software retains the legacy JSOW C stationary land target capabilities.

Image: AGM-154 JSOW fitted in to the deck of an aircraft carrier. Photo courtesy of: US Navy.