US Issues JSOW Block III Development Contract
the JSOW “almost-a-missile” precision glide bomb is a family of weapons delivered in multiple variants. The AGM-154C/JSOW-C adds an imaging infrared seeker for last-stage high precision and a Broach multi-stage warhead, which packs both area blast-fragmentation and hard target penetration capability. JSOW-C is in full-rate production, and achieved initial operation capability in February 2005. JSOW Block III, otherwise known as the AGM-154C-1, would add moving target capability for land and sea targets via improved seekers and seeker algorithms, and a 2-way weapons data link. This ensures that targeting commands can be received, and missile health, status and position transmitted back, right up to the time of impact. That option is currently found only at the high end of the cruise missile market, giving the AGM-154C-1 an interesting positioning as a cheaper short-range alternative.
All of which explains why Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, AZ received a $93.8 million cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-05-G-0008) for the Joint Standoff Weapon AGM-154C-1 Block III Network Enabled Weapon Moving Target Capability and Seeker Obsolescence Redesign. Efforts to be provided under this delivery order include the design, development, integration, test and delivery of an AGM-154C-1 network enabled weapon moving target capability and qualification and production of a replacement for the obsolete seeker processor and detector components (Phase I). In addition, this order provides for delivery of a validated engineering change proposal (Phase II). Work will be performed in Tucson, AZ, and is expected to be complete in July 2009. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD issued the contract.
Earlier this year, Raytheon competitively awarded a related subcontract to Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for the development and qualification of a dual waveform (UHF and Link 16) weapon data link called Strike Link (see also Sept 18/07 announcement). The Raytheon team plans to use this new data link in several weapons. Raytheon’s May 24/07 release.
UPDATE: Development was successful. AGM-154C-1 production contracts followed.