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Raytheon Demonstrates Joint Standoff Weapon Data Link and Message Set

TUCSON, Ariz., Jan. 31, 2006 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Air Force, Navy and Raytheon Company successfully demonstrated a weapon data link (WDL) and a new air-to-ground message set that will enhance the capability and utility of Raytheon's Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW).

The demonstration was a key success in the Weapon Data Link Network (WDLN) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) managed by the Air Force's Air Armament Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The WDLN ACTD is an activity using weapons and government-provided command and control nodes designed to evaluate a standard weapons communications architecture and serve as risk reduction pathfinders for future weapon data link efforts.

Raytheon is under contract with the Naval Air Systems Command to provide JSOW to the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. JSOW deliveries started in 1997.

"We successfully demonstrated the feasibility and functionality of the standard weapon data link network message set and the additional capability and situational awareness it offers our warfighters," said Ron Shields, JSOW director at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Ariz. "This step toward the realization of net enabled weapons is due to a lot of hard work and careful planning by all members of the JSOW team both on the contractor and government sides."

Incorporating a weapon data link in the JSOW provides the capability of in-flight communications of missile health and status; receiving in-flight target updates and target deconfliction messages; transmitting weapon position up to time of impact; and communicating through direct line-of-sight. Raytheon and the Navy are also developing a Block III variant, which will provide the warfighter with moving target capability by adding a weapons data link and other improvements.

"Successfully demonstrating communication between the JSOW and the tactical air control party will greatly increase our capability to engage moving land targets at range," said Cmdr. Drew Hartigan, the Navy's deputy JSOW program manager. "The JSOW WDLN ACTD demonstration and the anti-surface warfare demo planned in 2006 are key stepping stones for the Block III spiral, which represents a significant step forward for strike weapons."

Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2004 sales of $20.2 billion, is an industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 80,000 people worldwide.

Note to editors:

JSOW is a joint Navy and Air Force program. It is a family of low-cost, air-to-ground weapons that employ an integrated Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation system that guides the weapon to the target.

The JSOW uses a common and modular weapon body capable of carrying various payloads. Its long standoff range, greater than 70 nautical miles (maximum kinematic performance), allows delivery from well outside the lethal range of most enemy air defenses. The AGM-154A (also called JSOW-A) variant dispenses BLU-97 combined-effect bomblets for use against soft and area targets. It is produced for use on the F/A-18, F-16, F-15E, B-1, B-2 and B-52 aircraft.

The AGM-154C, or JSOW-C, variant incorporates an imaging infrared seeker for high precision and a Broach multi-stage warhead, which has both a blast- fragmentation and hard target penetration capability for use against point targets. JSOW-C is in full rate production and achieved initial operation capability in February 2005 with the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps. It is currently being produced for Navy F/A-18s and has been selected by Poland for use on its F-16s.

More than 400 JSOW-As have been used in combat operations to date. JSOW was a 2005 winner of the U.S. Department of Defense David Packard Award for Excellence in Acquisition for Block II cost reduction initiatives.

Alan D. Fischer

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