Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR March2013 Contents Asia Pacific Defence Reporter MARCH 2013 29
defended, fixed and relocatable targets. Its infra-red
seeker and anti-jam GPS enable it to reach its target
with pinpoint precision.
The JASSM is capable of autonomous flight in all
weathers and can operate day or night, delivering a
2,000 pound penetrator/blast fragmentation warhead.
With a range of 200 km, it keeps aircrews well out
of range of hostile air defence systems.
A JASSM was successfully test-fired from an RAAF
F/A-18 Hornet at the Woomera Test Range in July
2011, destroying a hardened concrete bunker. This
was a major step forward towards the weapon’s
addition to Australia’s defence capabilities.
Since its software has also been certified, the
semi-stealth JASSM has now entered service with
the RAAF’s F/A-18A/B Hornet squadrons. This gives
the RAAF a currently unmatched weapons capability
among the region’s air forces.
Australia’s enhanced Joint Direct Attack Munition
(JDAM) completed its first round of live testing in July
Flying at 20,000 feet over the Woomera Prohibited
Area in South Australia, an RAAF F/A-18 Hornet
released two 500-pound Mk-82 JDAM Extended
Range (ER) weapons and each scored a direct hit on
their respective targets. Each weapon demonstrated
extended range flyout performance exceeding three
times that of a baseline JDAM.
Australia’s JDAM-ER is enhanced through an
Extended Range (ER) wing kit, a Low Collateral
Damage warhead and a Laser Guidance System.
The laser guidance system improves the JDAM’s
capacity to be guided to, and attack, moving targets
whilst retaining the original JDAM GPS guidance
modes. This converts an unguided or ‘dumb’ bomb
into a guided weapon that can be launched from the
classic F/A-18A/B Hornet, F/A-18F Super Hornet
aircraft and in the future by the F-35A Joint Strike
The extended range kit was jointly developed as part
of a Capability and Technology Demonstrator (CTD)
program by the Defence Science and Technology
Organisation and Boeing.
The JDAM-ER wing kit developed by Hawker de
Havilland (a Boeing company), based on technology
licensed by DSTO, allows the JDAM to glide towards
its designated target, up to 65 km away, providing it
with the capacity to engage targets at a substantially
greater distance than the current JDAM. This enables
RAAF aircrew to engage their targets from beyond the
range of enemy air defences
Under an agreement with Boeing an Australian
company will manufacture the JDAM Extended Range
The wing kit has strong export potential to Boeing’s
sixteen international JDAM customers and may
become available for international sale through the
newly established Australian Military Sales Office.
The RAAF tested the ability of its F/A-18F Super
Hornets to use its AGM-154C Joint Stand-off Weapon
(JSOW) in October 2010 by releasing two JSOWs
at the Woomera Test Range in South Australia
to successfully attack separate hardened concrete
bunkers, destroying both. The test represented its first
live firings performed outside of the United States by
the Super Hornet.
Armed with a blast/fragmentation warhead, the
AGM-154C has a maximum glide range of around
130km when released from a height of 12,000
The JSOW has an integrated GPS-inertial
navigation system and terminal uncooled infrared
seeker that guides the weapon to the target. The
JSOW C carries a single BROACH warhead that has
blast, fragmentation and penetration effects.
JSOW is integrated on all variants of the F/A-18
and will be integrated on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
RAAF WELL-POSITIONED FOR THE
By acquiring and introducing into service a range
of stand-off missiles for their classic F/A-18A/B
Hornets and F/A-18F Super Hornets, the RAAF have
assembled a formidable arsenal of weapons although
it is to be hoped that they never have to be used in
There is considerable future proofing in that these
missiles will also be integrated into the weapons
load of the RAAF’s F-35A JSFs when they come into
service around 2020. Unfortunately the problem with
carrying missiles on wing pylons, rather than in the
body of the aircraft, is that a proportion of JSF stealth
capability is lost.
Having missiles that can be released at considerable
distances from their targets, yet strike those same
targets with precision in all weather conditions, by
day or night, the RAAF will continue to make good its
mission to “provide air and space power for Australia’s
F-35B test aircraft BF-3 flies with the weapon bay doors open.
Credit: Lockheed Martin
21/02/13 6:00 PM
Links Archive APDR_Feb2013 APDR_April2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page