The US Navy has completed the final developmental test for the integration of the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) C on-board the US Navy’s F-35 C Lightning II aircraft as part of a collaboration with Raytheon.

The successful completion of the test is expected to help keep the low-cost, air-to-ground JSOW missile on track for full deployment next year.

Raytheon’s JSOW glide weapon features a global positioning system (GPS) inertial navigation system with an imaging infrared seeker that can assist in autonomously identifying and tracking targets.

"With JSOW C in its internal weapons bay, the navy’s F-35C can now eliminate the toughest ground targets from significant stand-off ranges."

The JSOW C missile weighs approximately 1,000lb and can be effectively used against high-value land targets at ranges greater than 70nm, both day and night and in adverse weather conditions.

Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice-president Mike Jarrett said: “With JSOW C in its internal weapons bay, the navy’s F-35C can now eliminate the toughest ground targets from significant stand-off ranges.

“JSOW’s advanced warhead and smart fuse provide fighter pilots with plenty of flexibility against hard and soft targets, plus it has many programmable effects.”

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The F-35 joint strike fighter jet’s manufacturer Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office also participated in the latest developmental trial, which was carried out at the US Navy’s China Lake ranges in California.

The F-35C carrier variant is claimed to be the only fifth-generation, long-range stealth strike fighter jet in the world to be specifically designed for carrier operations.

Raytheon’s JSOW C missile is integrated with a 500lb British Royal Augmentation Charge (BROACH) Multiple Warhead System (MWS), which has been provided by BAE Systems.

The BROACH MWS provides the missile with blast and fragmentation effects, as well as increased penetration capability against hard point targets.