A U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet completed the first captive carriage test of the AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) C-1 variant at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., March 4.
This variant of the combat-proven JSOW provides upgraded capability to strike moving maritime targets. The weapon’s data link allows the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft to relay targeting information to the weapon.
Captive carriage testing is executed to ensure the C-1 maturity is sufficient to support more extensive testing to ensure warfighter requirements are met.
“The JSOW team has reached a critical milestone in the C-1 program,” said Capt. Carl Chebi, Precision Strike Weapons (PMA-201) program manager. “The team is on target and moving toward the full system captive carriage test in spring and the first free flight event later this year.”
According to a report, the weapon was able to enter the Link-16 network – a secure military tactical data exchange – to receive network-enabled messages. Operators use Link-16, which encrypts words to coordinate communications, to search for potential hostiles. From ground to air, forces are able to exchange secure tactical data, be it picture, text or voice, in near-real time.
“The team planned and executed this event to test the JSOW C-1’s Link-16 network interoperability,” said Cmdr. Douglas Phelan, JSOW integrated product team lead. “All major and primary objectives of this test were met.”
JSOW C-1 is an all-weather, day or night, launch-and-leave, network-enabled weapon that employs a Global Positioning System/inertial navigation system. The weapon uses an infrared seeker for terminal guidance.
The JSOW team will continue testing the C-1 variant with additional captive carriage and free flights later this year.
PMA-201 is responsible for the research, development and acquisition of the Fleet’s air-to-ground precision guided weapons, general-purpose bombs and aircraft armament-related equipment.