Friday, June 01, 2007

Raytheon delivering uprgaded 'smart bombs' to military

Above: The AGM-154. The Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) was a cooperative venture of the United States Navy and Air Force to deploy a standardized medium range precision guided weapon for engagement of defended targets at ranges outside that of standard anti-aircraft defenses. Left: A JSOW hits an A-7 parked inside a concrete aircraft shelter during a test at White Sands Missile Range.

TUCSON, May 31 (UPI) -- The new smart bomb being delivered to the U.S. military is an upgrade that will make air power even more effective in the early days of an offensive.

Raytheon has started delivery of the Joint Standoff Weapon Block II, which is equipped with improved anti-jam capability and advanced GPS-aided navigation.

The JSOW is a stealthy, precision-guided piece of ordnance that is used to knock out defended installations such as radar-installations, bridges and command bunkers. Such targets are among the first to go in the run-up to a ground assault. Part of the project involves development of a 500-pound explosive warhead based on the BLU-111 general-purpose bomb, an unguided weapon that has been a workhorse general bomb.

The JSOW is equipped with maneuvering fins and navigational gear that enables U.S. pilots to launch them from as far as 70 miles away, out of range of most anti-aircraft weapons.

Read the rest at UPI