The Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) AGM-154 C1 (formerly designated Block III) recently performed a captive flight test, equipped with a newly integrated infrared camera seeker system. It was part of the weapon’s flight testing program, designed to test and demonstrate the maturity of the enhanced version of the weapon. JSOW-C1 builds upon the combat-proven JSOW-C weapon by adding the thermal imager, a weapons data link to receive in-flight target updates from the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft; and new seeker algorithms to allow the weapon to hit moving targets.
Developed by Raytheon company as a stand-off glide weapon, the basic AGM-154A-1 configuration was designed as a multi-purpose weapon ‘platform’, utilizing GPS-guidance. A more advanced variant designated AGM-154C, (JSOW-C) was developed for te US Navy, incorporating both an imaging infrared seeker for high precision and a multistage warhead, which has both a blast- fragmentation and hard-target penetration effect. 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.
During the recent captive flight tests the weapon demonstrated 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.
“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.”