AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon [JSOW]

The AGM-154A Joint Standoff Weapon or JSOW is manufactured by Raytheon [Texas Instruments] for the Air Force and the Navy. JSOW is a Navy-led joint Navy/Air Force program. The AGM-154A (Formerly Advanced Interdiction Weapon System) is intended to provide a low cost, highly lethal glide weapon with a standoff capability. JSOW family of kinematically efficient, air-to-surface glide weapons, in the 1,000-lb class, provides standoff capabilities from 15 nautical miles (low altitude launch) to 40 nautical miles (high altitude launch). The JSOW will be used against a variety of land and sea targets and will operate from ranges outside enemy point defenses. The JSOW is a launch and leave weapon that employs a tightly coupled Global Positioning System (GPS)/Inertial Navigation System (INS), and is capable of day/night and adverse weather operations. The JSOW uses inertial and global positioning system for midcourse navigation and imaging infra-red and datalink for terminal homing.

The AGM-154A JSOW was used in combat for the first time in air strikes against antiaircraft defense sites in Iraq. Three JSOWs were launched by Navy F/A-18C Hornet strike fighters against the Iraqi targets on 25 January 1998. The AGM-154A version used in the strikes dispense 145 BLU-97 bomblets over an area the size of a football field.

During Operation Allied Force, JSOWs were employed from Navy F/A-18 aircraft. The "A" variant, which was the only configuration initially operational, dispenses combined effects bomblets against area soft targets such as air defense radars, armor, artillery, and personnel. The Joint Standoff Weapon allowed naval aircraft to strike from outside of the enemy's point defenses, combining inertial guidance and global positioning satellite accuracy to yield impressive results. This new weapon achieved a 100-percent success rate in Kosovo, with every one launched hitting the planned aim point well within designed accuracy.

The AGM-154A version encountered tracking difficulties when fired at anti-aircraft targets by US planes patrolling in the southern no-fly zone in Iraq. During a February 2001 strike over the southern no-fly zone, nearly 30 of the weapons flew off course, and just 40 percent of the targeted areas were damaged. A programming error failed to account for the severe wind shifts. The problem has since been corrected.

The JSOW is just over 13 feet in length and weighs between 1000-1500 pounds. Extra flexibility has been engineered into the AGM-154A by its modular design, which allows several different submunitions, unitary warheads, or non-lethal payloads to be carried. The JSOW will be delivered in three variants, each of which uses a common air vehicle, or truck, while substituting various payloads.

Texas Instruments (TI) Defense Systems & Electronics (DS&E) began Engineering and Manufacturing Development (E&MD) of JSOW in 1992. In December 1995, the Navy and Texas Instruments completed Development Test IIB (DT-IIB) at the Naval Air Weapon Center, (NAWC) China Lake and Point Mugu, California, with 10 for 11 successful flights of the AGM-154A BLU-97 dispenser variant.

On January 6, 1997, it was announced that Texas Instruments Defense Systems & Electronics was being purchased by Raytheon Company, Lexington, Massachusetts. The U.S. Navy began Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL) testing in February 1997, after successful development testing and initial operational testing programs. The test program resulted in a 42 for 44 success rate or greater than 96% successful JSOW launches. The Air Force began Development Test & Evaluation (DT&E) flight testing of JSOW on the F-16 at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in March 1996. Air Force testing of the baseline JSOW was hindered by less than desired progress in the area of F-16/JSOW integration. There was never a problem in the interface between the weapon and the aircraft. The weapon worked perfectly. The problem that prolonged the testing at Eglin, was with a subassembly of the JSOW, which was not manufactured by Texas Instruments.

AGM-154A (Baseline variant) system entered Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) on schedule. The $65.9 million LRIP contract was awarded by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), in Arlington, Virginia, for 111 JSOW AGM-154A/baseline systems. LRIP for the other two variants are scheduled for FY99 and FY00, respectively. On 29 December 1998 Raytheon Systems was awarded a $133,881,355 firm-fixed-price contract to provide funding for the Full Rate Production Lot 1 of JSOW AGM-154A and the Low Rate Initial Production Lot I of the JSOW AGM-154B (AGM-154A: Navy - 328 and Air Force - 75) (AGM-154B: Navy - 3 and Air Force - 21). Work was expected to be completed by March 2001.

JSOW test articles were deployed in 1997 aboard the USS Nimitz and were later deployed on the USS Eisenhower. JSOW initial introduction to the operational commands was on the Navy/Marine Corps F/A-18 in mid-1998. As of late 1997 a number of remaining JSOW test assets were on an interim deployment for further operational evaluation. USS Carl Vinson 's air wing first employed the JSOW during combat over southern Iraq on Jan. 25, 1999.

The China Lake JSOW IPT participated in a rapid response to Operation Desert Fox. Carrier Air Groups (CAGs) deployed in support of Operation Desert Fox, in conjunction with COMNAVAIRLANT, urgently requested some of the first production JSOW AGM-154A assets in support of operations. To support this decision, a NAWCWD quick-response team was formed and traveled to McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, OK, on 6 January 1999 and reprogrammed JSOWs with software appropriate to the CAG receiving the weapons. The AGM-154As were part of the first Low Rate Initial Production units that Raytheon Systems Company, Lewisville, TX, delivered under contract. Provided JSOW experts to CAG. NAWCWD also led the effort to provide JSOW subject-matter experts to the CAG; personnel traveled to the area for first-hand training and weapon operations to support to the CAG, hand-carrying mission planning and weapons application software for use with the weapons. High-level Navy recognition. This rapid response effort was recognized at the highest levels in the Navy including OPNAV, COMNAVAIRLANT, and the Combat CINCs and was viewed as an amazingly rapid response effort. The NAWCWD JSOW team made significant contributions in rapidly identifying requirements, reprogramming weapons, and in preparing plans to support the CAG's training and weapon operations, The JSOW team successfully addressed many logistical, software, security, and travel challenges.

The China Lake NAWCWD directly contributed to the success of Operation Allied Force in Kosovo and in continuing operations in Southwest Asia. In less than 10 days notice, JSOWs were transported from the U.S. to the Persian Gulf, and from there, weapons and support personnel from China Lake were transferred to USS Carl Vinson. Our people assisted aircrew with last minute updates to operational software. A few days later, JSOW was successfully used in combat. The lethal effectiveness of these weapons was reconfirmed only days after the Navy declared JSOW operational -a phenomenal effort.

NAWCWD personnel traveled to the USS Kittyhawk (CV-63) deployed in the Northern Arabian Sea in support of Operation Southern Watch. Provided JSOW initial training for the Weapons Department and Carrier Air Wing Five. Briefings and lectures were given to the aircraft crash crews, USS Kittyhawk EOD Detachment, Kuwait Beach Detachment, Catapult Officer and crew, CAG Commander, and the Captain of the USS Kittyhawk. Teams provided technical support during aircraft loading evolutions, weapons receipt inspections, underway replenishment, vertical replenishment, helicopter onboard delivery, and uncanning and re-canning of assets. Weapons receipt inspection, reprogramming and Built-In-Test were performed on 12 assets received from the USS Carl Vinson via the USS Kilahuea ammunition supply ship.

Members of the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) IPT supported the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt off Kosovo and the U.S.S. Kittyhawk (deployed in the Northern Arabian Sea in support of Operation Southern Watch).

On 29 December 1999 Raytheon Systems Company, Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $109,573,867 modification to previously awarded contract N00019-99-C-1014 to exercise an option for the full rate production Lot 2 of the Joint Standoff Weapon AGM-154A for the U.S. Navy (414) and U.S. Air Force (74). Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and was expected to be completed by March 2002.

In 1999 it was projected Raytheon would produce 816 weapons in FY2001 and 970 in FY2002. In fact, due to problems with the inertial measurement unit and guidance system, by late 2001 actual production was only 104 each year, and the projected production of 997 units in 2003 had been reduced to 747 units. About 400 units produced under the initial 1999 full-rate production contract had the guidance control flaws that required rework before they could be shipped to the fleet.

On 23 June 2000 Raytheon was awarded a $5,069,914 modification to previously awarded cost plus incentive fee basic ordering agreement N00019-98-G-0104 for the integration of the Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) into the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) System. This effort will bring new production JSOWs delivered after 1 April 2003 in compliance with current Global Positioning System (GPS) security requirements for weapon-based GPS. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and was expected to be completed by May 2001.

As of August 2002 JSOW-A was deployed aboard USS STENNIS (CVN-74), prior to demonstrating acceptable performance in operational test.

By October 2002 more than 1,000 JSOWs had been manufactured. Plans called for the Pentagon to spend more than $4 billion to buy 14,000 JSOWs through 2007.

Weapon planning will be accomplished using the Navy's Tactical Automated Mission Planning System (TAMPS) and the Air Force Mission Support System (AFMSS). Aircraft-to-weapon communications will be via the MIL-STD-1760 interface, making inflight programming/targeting possible, as well as preflight data loading. The weapon will be deployed from both carrier- and land-based aircraft, employing insensitive munitions technology. The JSOW will be employed on the following aircraft: F/A-18A/B, C/D, and E/F; AV-8B; F-14A/B and /D; F-16C/D; F-15E; F-117; B-1B; and B-52.

DOT&E's evaluation of the results of Navy operational evaluation and Air Force IOT&E confirmed that the AGM-154A, in the low-rate initial production configuration, is operationally effective and suitable. Follow-on operational tests concluded in December 2002 and July 2003, were adequate to evaluate the effectiveness and suitability of new software and hardware. Results confirm the hardware deployed to the fleet, the redesigned control section to support F-16 full envelope employment, and updated Baseline software are effective and suitable for combat. Operational testing to evaluate F-16 capability to employ weapons from the BRU-57 smart rack was delayed, awaiting certification of an expanded employment envelope, and will be accomplished under additional follow-on operational testing.

The program completed production mid- 2007 and is integrated on the F/A-18, F-16, F-15E, B-2 and B-52 aircraft. JSOW A-1 has a BLU-111 warhead (insensitive MK-82) and is primarily for the international market. Turkey ordered 50 in 2006. As of early 2008 more than 400 JSOW-As had been used in combat operations, including Iraqi Freedom. Procurement of JSOW-A in the FYDP is deferred pending a fix to the Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) issue or a change in the inventory levels.

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