Upgrades Boost JSOW Capabilities
While Keeping Costs in Check
The AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) is a Navy-Air Force
program. This family of air-to-ground weapons, built by Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson,
Ariz., comprises four variants: the
AGM-154A (JSOW-A), with 145
BLU-97 bomblets; AGM-154A- 1,
which carries a BLU-111 warhead;
AGM-154B, carrying six P3I BLU-
108 sensor-fuzed-weapon submu-nitions; and the AGM-154C Unitary variant, with the Broach warhead. AGM-154C- 1 is in development to add a weapon datalink to
attack moving sea targets.
JSOW equips the F/A- 18, F- 16,
F-15E, B- 52, B-1B and B- 2. Integration is under way for the F- 35
Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.
Initial work on what was to become
JSOW began in June 1989, and a System Design and Development contract for an Advanced Integrated
Weapon System was awarded to
then-Texas Instruments in 1991. In
November, Raytheon delivered its
3,000th JSOW to the Navy. Naval Air
Systems Command in December
awarded it an $80.5 million contract
modification for the fourth full-rate
production of 350 Unitary JSOW-Cs.
Work is expected to be completed in
WHO’S IN CHARGE
John O’Brien has been with Raytheon for 20 years, the last 15 working on the JSOW program. He is
JSOW program director at Raytheon
Missile Systems in Tucson.
One of the things that we’re really struggling hard with — in a positive way on JSOW — is not to have cost reduction as a one-time deal.
With each new variant, and with each block upgrade, we’re applying
aggressive design-to-cost concepts. It is an incredible challenge to make
upgrades and reduce costs and stay on your delivery schedule.
Block I was the original JSOW, establishing different variants of the
weapon system, different payloads the common truck will carry. Block II was
introduced into production in FY [fiscal year] ’06 and was all about cost
reduction. We reduced the price by more than 25 percent while adding capability. Block III will be introduced in FY ’09 with a weapon data link. With
Link 16 capability, JSOW will be the first truly integrated weapon in the fleet.
What we refer to as Block IV, or JSOW ER, is a weapon on which we
plan to integrate an engine and extend the range of JSOW, yet keep virtually everything else common on the weapon system. The range will be up
to 300 nautical miles.
We are currently not under contract for JSOW ER. It’s not a program of
record with the Navy. It’s internally funded at this point. In December, we
completed a functional ground test where we took [the Hamilton
Sunstrand-produced] engine from an existing weapon system — the
Miniature Air-Launch Decoy — integrated it on JSOW and successfully
completed a functional ground test.
That’s actually about step three of about 10 that we have planned to execute a demonstration program, which will include captive carriage in summer
2008 and free flight in the spring 2009. We are confident that we will
be able to produce a 300-nautical-mile weapon for $350,000 or less.