JSOW is a joint navy and air force program. This family of air-to-ground weapons employs an integrated GPS/Inertial Navigation System that guides the weapon to the target. The JSOW is capable of carrying various payloads and its long standoff range, up to 70 nautical miles, allows delivery from well outside the lethal range of most enemy air defences.
‘This contract award represents a major step forward in providing the navy fleet pilots with much-needed capability against moving ship targets,’ said John O’Brien, Raytheon’s JSOW program director ‘The results of detailed trade studies performed by the NAVAIR-Raytheon team enabled Raytheon to develop an initial architecture and initial mission effectiveness assessment for this new JSOW variant. The studies were critical to the new seeker design, seeker software algorithm development and data link selection.’
The AGM-154C1 builds on the JSOW Block II weapon by adding a weapons data link to receive in-flight target updates from the F/A-18E/F aircraft, and includes updated seeker algorithms designed to hit moving targets. Significant work on the seeker algorithms was completed on Raytheon internal research and development funding in 2005 and 2006.
AGM-154C1 will maintain all standoff, survivability capability and improved anti-jam capability inherent in the current JSOW weapon, as well as its low radar cross section and infrared signature. These are key stealth features, which ensure a high probability of JSOW survival en route to highly defended targets.
Earlier this year, Raytheon competitively awarded a subcontract to Rockwell Collins, Iowa, for the development and qualification of a dual waveform (UHF and Link 16) weapon data link called Strike Link. The Raytheon team plans to use this data link in several weapons and, with the assistance of the NAVAIR team, will be the supplier of the Harpoon Block III data link.
The new JSOW variant is scheduled to be produced in 2009.