Turkey Requesting JSOWs to Go With Its Upgraded F-16s
The JSOW precision glide bomb appears to be picking up fans. Shortly after a request from Singapore that prefigured its recent order for 20 F-15 Strike Eagle fighters, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Turkey as a complement to its recent F-16 upgrade program. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $35 million.
The Government of Turkey has requested a possible sale of:
- 50 AGM-154A-1 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) with BLU-111 penetrator casing warheads
- 54 AGM-154C JSOW
- 4 AGM-154A-1 JSOW Dummy Air Training
- 3 AGM-154 JSOW Captive Flight Vehicles
- 3 AGM-154 JSOW Missile Simulation Units
- Plus packaging, transport, integration, technical assistance, and other related elements of logistics support.
JSOW are GPS-guided glide bombs with a range of 15-70 km. The AGM-154A-1 variant’s 500 lb. BLU-111 warhead eliminates the unexploded ordnance concerns of the AGM-154A anti-tank/ anti-personnel BLU-97 cluster munitions. The AGM-154C or JSOW-C variant, meanwhile, incorporates an imaging infrared seeker for high precision and a Broach multi-stage warhead with both blast-fragmentation and hard target penetration capability.
See also Armada’s 1999 article Accurate Predators With A Mind of Their Own. It’s a good overview of the entire field of powered and unpowered precision-guided winged weapons like the JSOW.
This proposed sale is in conjunction with the planned modernization of Turkey’s F-16 fighter aircraft, which DID has covered. Turkey will use the JSOW as a standoff weapon, subject to the limitation on use and transfer provided under the Arms Export Control Act, as amended, and as embodied in the Letter of Offer and Acceptance.
The prime contractor will be Raytheon Systems Corporation of Tucson, AZ. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale, and implementation will require temporary visits of U.S. Government and contractor representatives to Turkey for program technical/management oversight and support. See full DSCA release [PDF].