The US Navy Raytheon AGM-154C Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) fitted with a unitary warhead is in the second phase of captive carry flight tests, demonstrating its Autonomous Targeting Acquisition (ATA) capability.

The captive carriage flights are being conducted on Raytheon's Convair 580 test aircraft using JSOW seeker/guidance hardware and software. The USN says the ATA system acquired and tracked a variety of targets near the Raytheon facility in Tucson, Arizona. The flight testing follows evaluations in the third quarter of last year of the ATA software algorithms and seeker. The captive carriage flights aboard the research aircraft were due to be completed in January, with acquisition and tracking tests against targets located on the Naval Air Weapons Center's China Lake test range.

The unitary JSOW team will conclude the captive carry flight test series with Boeing F/A-18 Hornet strike aircraft in the third quarter.

Unitary development testing will continue into fiscal year 2002, with launches from theF/A-18 due later this year. Low-rate initial production is planned for FY03. Blast/fragmentation and penetrator warhead versions are in service or under development.

Source: Flight International