Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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US Navy’s Most Accurate Warship Killer, JSOW C-1, Operational on F/A-18 Fighters


(Photo : US Navy) JSOW C-1.

The U.S. Navy has completed arming its McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets aboard its fleet of Nimitz-class aircraft carriers with the new Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) C-1, the navy's first air-to-ground "network-enabled" weapon that can identify and sink fast moving enemy warships.

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The precision-guided JSOW C-1 uses GPS technology; inertial measurement unit guidance technology and an imaging infrared seeker in the final phase of flight to find and attack enemy warships.

The JSOW C-1 Moving Maritime Target capability allows the missile to fly to an updated cue from its controlling platform and later transition to an image recognition/matching process enabled by an onboard database of ship characteristics stored in the weapon.

JSOW C-1 achieved operational status in June 2016 and is now deployed with all the navy's Carrier Air Wings (CVWs).

Network enabled technology gives the F/A-18 Super Hornet a vastly increased attack envelope against a wider range of threats such as enemy warships; small boats and submarines at sea. JSOW C-1 will be fired from the navy's carrier-launched variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C.

This highly accurate glide weapon is specifically designed to destroy maneuvering high-speed warships such as modern destroyers at longer distances. It also allows direct attack on enemy air defenses contesting U.S. Navy attack aircraft.

The C-1 is an air-to-surface standoff from point defense (SOPD) weapon used against a variety of targets. Older versions of the C-1 arm all U.S. Navy attack aircraft and this weapon's success in combat since it was first used in 1998 has made it one of the most successful weapons in the Pentagon's history.

The basic JSOW or the AGM-154 is a low cost, highly lethal glide weapon with a standoff capability. The JSOW family of air-to-surface glide weapons are 450 kilograms bombs that provide standoff from 28 km at low altitude launch and up to 110 km high altitude launch.

JSOW is a fire-and-forget weapon that employs a coupled GPS/Inertial Navigation System (INS).

The C-1 model is integrated with a Link 16 network radio, allowing the weapon to attack moving maritime targets. A two-way datalink allows the F/A-18E/F and F-35A/C launch aircraft or another controller to provide real-time target updates to the weapon, shift it to a different target or abort the mission.

It 's armed with the new BROACH warhead, a two-stage warhead whose first stage shaped-charge can penetrate armor, concrete or earth after which the second stage warhead detonates.  

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