The US Navy has received its first air-to-ground network-enabled joint standoff weapon (JSOW C-1) after it achieved initial operational capability (IOC).
The deployment of JSOW-C1 weapon is expected to provide the capability and flexibility required to effectively engage moving maritime targets, as well as stationary land targets.
Precision Strike Weapons (PMA-201) programme manager captain Jaime Engdahl said: "As our mission's focus shift, we are providing the warfighter with the first of several net-enabled weapons required to maintain strategic dominance over the Pacific.
"The JSOW C-1 is critical to the support of the navy's strategic vision of integrated warfare capability."
Built by Raytheon, the JSOW C-1 is a modification to the existing JSOW C, which is a family of low-cost, air-to-ground weapons that use an integrated GPS-inertial navigation system and thermal imaging infrared seeker.
The new JSOW C-1 features a two-way strike common weapon datalink, Link 16, for moving maritime target capability.
The radio allows the weapon to receive real-time target updates from its launch aircraft, or another designated controller.
JSOW programme manager commander Sam Messer said: "JSOW C-1 provides the ability to engage our enemies at longer ranges and the flexibility to engage in direct attack, even if enemy air defences deny our aircraft access."
The weapon will be launched from the F/A-18E/F and F-35A/C aircraft.
Image: JSOW-C1 variant will allow the US Navy to effectively engage moving maritime targets. Photo: courtesy of Naval Air Systems Command.