January 26, 2012
The first networked air-launched & anti-ship weapon in the U.S. armoury
As reported by Naval Technology, the US Navy has successfully completed developmental testing (DT) of the Raytheon-built Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW) C-1, the first networked air-launched, anti-ship weapon in the US armoury, at Point Mugu Sea Range, California, US.
During the DT, conducted by Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 31, the JSOW C-1 hit the QST-35 Seaborne Powered Target (SEPTAR) vessel moving at 15 knots, validating its characteristics to meet design-performance requirements. The tests validated its ability to hand off control of the weapon to a third-party platform and receive in-flight commands.
JSOW is a family of low-cost, air-to-ground weapons that employs an integrated GPS-inertial navigation system and terminal imaging infrared seeker, guiding the weapon to the target.
More than 400 JSOWs have been used in combat operations to date, including more than 300 in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The JSOW family uses a common and modular weapon body capable of carrying various payloads. Its long standoff range of approximately 70 nautical miles allows delivery from well outside the lethal range of most enemy air defenses.
JSOW C-1 adds moving maritime target capability and the two-way strike common weapon datalink. Specifically, the JSOW C-1 builds upon the combat-proven JSOW by adding a data link, enabling the system to receive in-flight target updates from the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. The weapon also has new seeker algorithms to allow the missile to hit moving maritime targets.
"The warfighter asked for a Link-16 network-enabled standoff weapon that can engage moving maritime targets while maintaining the capability to attack stationary land targets," said Cmdr. Douglas Phelan, the U.S. Navy's JSOW Integrated Product Team leader after a series of three captive flight tests in 2010. "JSOW C-1 will meet this requirement."
References: Naval Technology (1), Raytheon (2), SpaceWar.com (3)