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Raytheon Tests JSOW Seeker For Hitting Moving Maritime Targets

The AGM-154C, or JSOW-C variant (pictured), incorporates both an imaging infrared seeker for high precision and a multistage warhead, which has both a blast- fragmentation and hard-target penetration effect.
by Staff Writers
Tucson AZ (SPX) May 29, 2008
Raytheon's AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon C1 variant moved a step closer to free-flight April 1 following successful captive flight tests of the weapon's new infrared camera seeker system.

JSOW is a family of low-cost air-to-ground weapons that employs an integrated GPS/Inertial Navigation System that guides the weapon to the target.

The JSOW-C1 builds upon the combat-proven JSOW-C weapon by adding a weapons data link to receive in-flight target updates from the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft; it also includes new seeker algorithms to allow the weapon to hit moving targets.

The tests demonstrating the seeker's capability to track moving maritime targets were conducted by attaching the seeker to the outside of a Raytheon- owned Convair aircraft, which then flew through the same mission profiles the JSOW-C1 might experience during an operation.

The tests subjected the seeker to the same stressors -- wind, vibration, and altitude -- the JSOW-C1 would face during an operational mission.

"By putting the seeker under a great deal of stress, the tests ensured the weapon can engage moving targets during the rigors of an operational mission," said John O'Brien, Raytheon's JSOW program director.

"The tests validated the seeker's ability to perform and provided data for assessment of the JSOW-C1's hardware and software performance."

JSOW-C1's customer said the test represents a major milestone for the program.

"These tests are the first step in the JSOW-C1 hardware integration process," said Commander Andrew "Chunder" Kessler, JSOW deputy program manager for NAVAIR's (Naval Air Systems Command) Precision Strike Weapons program.

"The fact that C1 hardware and software technology is mature enough to even conduct these flights at this point in the JSOW program is an indication of how high the performance bar has been set. The NAVAIR-Raytheon team plans to maintain these high standards into the development test program that commences later this year."

The JSOW uses a common and modular weapon body capable of carrying various payloads. Its long standoff range allows delivery from well outside the lethal range of most enemy air defenses

The AGM-154A-1, or JSOW-A-1 variant, has a BLU-111 warhead (insensitive MK-82) and is primarily for the international market. Turkey ordered 50 in 2006.

The AGM-154C, or JSOW-C variant, incorporates both an imaging infrared seeker for high precision and a multistage warhead, which has both a blast- fragmentation and hard-target penetration effect.

JSOW-C is in full-rate production and achieved initial operational capability in February 2005 with the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps. It is currently being produced for U.S. Navy and Marine Corps' F/A-18 Hornets and has been ordered by Poland and Turkey for use on F-16 Fighting Falcons.

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