Navy Completes Developmental Test of JSOW on F-35C; Operational Test Later in Summer
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The Raytheon-built AGM-154C Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) has been integrated on the Navy’s F-35C Lightning II strike fighter, completing developmental testing for the weapon’s integration on the fighter, a company official said.
Mark “Smoke” Borup, Raytheon’s director of business development for Medium-Range Strike/Attack, Air Warfare Systems, told Seapower at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition April 9 that the JSOW’s operational test (OT) will begin in the fourth quarter of this year.
The JSOW C and maritime strike C-1 variant have been fielded on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
Borup said the developmental test covered carriage of two JSOWs in the weapons bay of the F-35C. The aircraft later will be able to carry four more JSOWS on its wing stations.
“We’re ready for OT,” Borup said.
The JSOW-C and C-1 can be dropped at standoff ranges up to 70 nautical miles to avoid sophisticated multilayered air defense systems. The weapon can be programmed with waypoints and attack a target from a 180-degree aspect from the launch platform. The weapon can be programmed in three dimensions to attack a target at any angle between 23 and 74 degrees. This allows for the attack to be tailored against caves and any aspect of a building.
The JSOW is armed with a tandem warhead, an initial charge followed by a BROACH penetrating warhead. It has been tested to penetrate 5 feet of 5,000-Psi steel-reinforced concrete. It is equipped with an infrared seeker and can match a target with its programmed image and strike with an accuracy of 1 meter, even if the target is obscured by weather or smoke.
“Accuracy is fundamental to lethality,” Borup said, adding that the JSOW-C is “very capable against GPS anti-jam and a lot of other threats, decoys and the like.”