Hitting the Weakest Point
The Navy refines its ability to strike maritime targets with precision
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
“The target for the test was an
unmanned 260-foot-long Mobile
Ship Target (MST),” Chebi said.
“The weapon successfully acquired
the MST autonomously and guided
to the predetermined aim point on
“When the JSOW [C- 1] gets
within range of its IIR seeker, it
opens its eyes, recognizes the tar-
get, classifies the target and then it
goes into its [target library] table
and it says, ‘This is what this is
and this is where I want to hit it,’” said Harry Schulte,
vice president for air warfare systems at Raytheon
Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz. “On a particular ship, it
recognizes it and says, ‘This is the most vulnerable
spot for me to go.’”
The C- 1 is a development of the JSOW C with a
Global Positioning System (GPS)/inertial navigation
set (INS) and a two-way Link 16 data link. It has suc-
ceeded the JSOW C on the Raytheon production line
and is expected to reach initial operational capability
in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. The second free
flight test is scheduled for this winter, Chebi said.
“This weapon will give warfighters the needed capability to precisely engage moving ships at sea at standoff
ranges,” Lt. Cmdr. Samuel Hanaki, the Navy’s JSOW
deputy program manager, said in an Aug. 9 Raytheon
release announcing the test results.
“The program office is evaluating potential incremental capability upgrades that will enable JSOW C- 1
to remain relevant against projected future threat capabilities,” Chebi said.
Raytheon went from a production run of 1,650
JSOW Cs straight into full-rate production in 2009 of
JSOW C-1s, of which 818 have been ordered. The
value of the C- 1 contracts for Raytheon were $106.5
million, $101.6 million and $85.6 million for fiscal
2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively.
The Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) C- 1 is the Navy’s first fully
network-enabled standoff weapon against moving maritime targets.
■ JSOW C- 1 can find the optimum point on a ship to strike.
■ The Small Diameter Bomb II will use a trimode seeker against
■ The Joint Air-Ground Missile will replace Mavericks and Hellfires.
After more than two decades focusing on devel- oping an air-launched capability to destroy tar- gets on land, the Navy is turning its attention
to precision maritime air strike capabilities to disable or
destroy ships and boats at sea, at short and long ranges.
The service also is demonstrating the ability to hit a ship
at a precise, predetermined point on its structure.
The Navy on July 26 completed the first free-flight test
of the AGM-154C- 1 version of the Raytheon-built Joint
Standoff Weapon (JSOW), a winged glide bomb with a
range of 60 nautical miles when dropped from an altitude
of 35,000 feet. The JSOW C- 1 is the first fully network-enabled standoff weapon with the capability to strike a
moving maritime target, such as a ship.
“The technical challenges of hitting a moving maritime
target include targeting accuracy of the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform; link capacity of
the network; and weapon-autonomous, target-acquisition
performance,” said Capt. Carl Chebi, the Navy’s program
manager for precision strike weapons.
During the test, the JSOW C- 1 was launched from an
F/A-18F Super Hornet strike fighter 20 nautical miles
from the target ship. The Raytheon-built Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared pod on the aircraft guided the bomb to the target using in-flight target position
updates via data link, with a terminal uncooled imaging
infrared (IIR) seeker providing final target acquisition.