Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR Feb 2017 Contents 32 Asia Pacific Defence Reporter FEB 2017
using a WDU-44 shaped augmenting warhead and
a WDU-45 follow through bomb, and is designed
to attack hardened targets. However, it was said in
2009 that the RAAF will be upgrading its JSOWs to
the C-1 variant.
Also known as JSOW Block III, the C-1 adds
Link-16 and moving maritime target capability to
the AGM-154C. According to Raytheon, it also has
modified seeker software to increase capability for the
anti-surface warfare mission in the maritime domain.
After delays in development, the AGM-154C-1
achieved Initial Operating Capability with the U.S .
Navy on 22 June 2016.
A Defence spokesperson has confirmed to APDR
that Australia has received all of its ordered JSOWs,
noting that the “delivery of Super Hornet H10 software
configuration set and successful United States Navy
OT&E of JSOW C-1 during 2016 has paved the way
for Australian OT&E planned for later this year”.
The JSOW C-1 will also be an integral part of
the F-35’s arsenal, with basic integration for the
internal carriage of the JSOW C-1 planned for the
F-35’s Release 4.1 software. This will be followed
by full integration in Block 4.2 software and external
carriage subsequent to that.
Raytheon is currently using company funding to
develop a powered version of the JSOW that will
have the potential to engage targets at more than
463 km (250 nm). The JSOW Extended Range
variant retains the current shape and form of JSOW
C-1, minimizing fleet integration costs while retaining
JSOW C-1's datalink and modified seeker software.
Although not technically standoff weapons, we
would be remiss not to talk about the Paveway
and JDAM-series of precision guided airdropped
munitions, which have been the staple weapons of
RAAF Hornets and Super Hornets talking part in
The Paveway and JDAM series of precision-
guided bombs needs little introduction here. A
laser (Paveway) or GPS (JDAM) guidance kit
turns regular Mk.82 (227kg, 500lb designated the
GBU-12), Mk .83 (454kg, 1,000lb GBU-16) and
Mk.84 (907kg, 2,000lb GBU-10) freefall bombs
into precision strike weapons.
The Paveway series of Laser Guided Bombs
(LGBs) were first developed during the 1960s after
significant losses and negligible results obtained
by U.S . aircraft attacking heavily defended North
Vietnamese targets during the Vietnam War.
Developed by Texas Instruments on a shoestring
budget starting in 1964, the first Paveways, fitted to
M-117 bombs, were used in combat over Vietnam
in 1968. A Paveway kit consists of a semi-active
laser seeker, a computer control group containing
guidance and control electronics, thermal battery,
and pneumatic control augmentation system.
The bomb is fitted with front control canards
and rear wings for stability. The weapon guides on
reflected laser energy from either a targeting pod on
an aircraft or a ground controller; the seeker detects
the reflected light of the designating laser, and
actuates the canards to guide the bomb toward the
In the early 1970s the improved Paveway II was
introduced, with a simplified, more reliable seeker
and pop-out rear wings to improve the weapon's glide
performance. This is essentially the same weapon
in use today albeit with refinements over the years,
and has seen use in several conflicts since then.
Paveway IIs are today produced by Lockheed-Martin
The Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM)
is a guidance kit that converts unguided bombs into
all-weather precision munitions. In service since
1999, JDAMs have seen action in Afghanistan, Iraq,
Syria and other locations in the War on Terror. Like
the Paveway, it has also been widely exported to U.S .
allies and security partners.
JDAM-equipped bombs are guided by an
integrated inertial guidance system coupled to a
Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, with
the key components being a tail section with
aerodynamic control surfaces, a (body) strake kit,
and a combined inertial guidance system and GPS
guidance control unit.
The JDAM was meant to improve upon laser-guided
bomb and imaging infrared technology, which can be
hindered by bad ground and weather conditions
since GPS is not affected by rain, clouds, fog, smoke,
or man-made obscurants.
The other advantages conferred by GPS guidance
are an expanded launch acceptance region, with the
launch aircraft able to release the weapon at very
large off-a xis angles relative to the target, as well
as a true “fire-and-forget” capability by not requiring
any support after being launched. However, they are
restricted to only being able to attack fixed targets,
which has today been rectified with the appearance
of dual-mode guided bombs.
Boeing is offering the GBU-54 Laser JDAM
(LJDAM), which adds a laser seeker to the nose
of a JDAM-equipped bomb, giving it the ability
to engage moving targets. The laser seeker is
a cooperative development between Boeing's
Defense, Space and Security unit and Israel's
Elbit Systems and consists of the Laser Seeker
Today, precision-guided standoff weapons are increasingly finding
their way into the arsenals of modern air forces, and the Royal
Australian Air Force is no exception
Armament Fitters from Number 2 Operation Conversion Unit (2OCU) carefully raise a GBU-54 Laser JDAM prior to loading it
onto an F/A-18A during Aces North. Credit: CoA / Rob Mitchell
30/01/2017 6:40 PM
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