Raytheon sees an opportunity to upgrade Asia Pacific's air forces with advanced versions of its AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) and AGM-65 Maverick missile, mainly for use in the anti-surface warfare role.

At the Singapore Airshow, it promoted both an extended range version of JSOW, the JSOW-ER, and the laser-guided version of the Maverick.

The company noted an evolving naval threat environment, two features of which are better defensive capabilities on large surface combatants and a greater small boat threat.

It said the long-range JSOW-ER can help address the first threat, while the laser-guided Maverick is effective against short-range targets.

To illustrate the small boat threat, a Raytheon representative cited a 2008 incident in which US warships transiting the Straits of Hormuz were harassed by a flotilla of Iranian speedboats.

"The laser-guided maverick allows an aircraft to effectively engage this type of target," he said.

In addition, the representative showed an image of a Libyan corvette that was destroyed by a Maverick missile launched from a US Navy P-3C Orion during 2011's operation Odyssey Dawn.

The JSOW-ER is a powered variant of the JSOW-C1. "It combines the GPS-inertial navigation system reliability of the combat-proven JSOW variants with the network-enabled maritime-interdiction capability of the JSOW C-1, which is currently in production," said Raytheon.

In a press release, Raytheon said the JSOW-ER flew more than 260 miles during a free-flight demonstration in 2009.

Although it has been out of production for nearly two decades, Raytheon recently restarted production of the laser-guided Maverick for the USAF and US Navy.

In the Asia Pacific, Australia operates JSOW. Maverick is used by several air forces in the region.

Source: Flight International