Off-board targeting demonstration is designed
to step up Navy’s network-centric strike capabilities
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
cer for the director of Air Warfare
in the Office of the Chief of Naval
Operations. “That’s a definite capa-
bility we want to have. When you
look at the battlefield of the future,
the network is going to be a big
piece of that and how we commu-
nicate and pass information
The JSOW-C- 1, built by Raytheon
Missile Systems, is the latest version
of a precision-guided glide bomb
that entered combat in Iraq a decade
ago. The JSOW is a 1,000-pound-class weapon equipped
with wings that extend after launch that allow it to glide
to the target at ranges of 12 to 63 miles.
The A baseline variant, guided by the Global
Positioning System (GPS), is armed with cluster munitions effective against soft targets. The similar A- 1 version is armed with a high-explosive warhead. The C
version is armed with a 500-pound blast/fragmentation
warhead and guided in the terminal phase by an imaging infrared seeker governed by autonomous targeting
algorithms for more precise targeting.
The JSOW-C- 1 is similar to the C variant but is
equipped with a Rockwell Collins data link and an
updated seeker algorithm, designed to strike moving targets at sea or on land. The data link allows an aircraft —
the launcher or another platform — to pass target
updates to the bomb. Development of the C- 1 began in
2006, with operational testing scheduled for this year.
“JSOW C- 1 is another upgrade that … allows us to
control that weapon,” Burt said. “It gives us some mar-
itime capability against a moving ship at sea, for instance,
whereas the baseline JSOW is strictly a GPS weapon.”
Using networked weapons for precision strike against
moving targets is the latest milestone in the evolution of
precision air-launched strike weapons that began during
the Vietnam War, when the first laser- and television-
guided bombs were used in significant numbers. Kits are
The Navy will demonstrate a capability to guide weapons launched
from one aircraft with sensors from another.
■ The demonstration will direct a JSOW C- 1 bomb using radar
data from a surveillance aircraft.
■ Networked weapons represent a new milestone in strike warfare.
■ A study for a new maritime strike weapon begins.
The Navy will participate in a Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) this fall designed to guide a glide bomb dropped from
a strike fighter to a target with sensor information fed
via data link from a radar surveillance aircraft.
The capability will be another step forward in the
effort to use a battle network to hit a moving target
with weapons dropped from one platform using targeting information from another.
In the JCTD, an AGM-154C- 1 Joint Standoff
Weapon (JSOW-C- 1) will be released from an F/A-18
strike fighter and guided to the target by updated targeting data sent while the weapon is in flight from an
Air Force E- 8 Joint Surveillance Targeting Attack Radar
aircraft or a Navy P-3C equipped with the APS-149
Littoral Radar Surveillance System.
A similar capability has been incorporated in the
AGM-84K Standoff Land-Attack Missile Expanded
Response (SLAM-ER) and completed operational testing and evaluation last year. The SLAM-ER, carried by
F/A-18 and P-3C aircraft for land-attack missions
against high-value targets from a potential range of
more than 150 nautical miles, now is capable of striking moving targets on land and at sea.
“I can shoot on the target but my own weapon system may not have to necessarily target [it],” said Capt.
Larry Burt, strike aircraft plans and requirements offi-