Naval Aviation possesses numerous types of air-to-ground weapons, all
of which are designed for different targets, levels of accuracy, and lethality.
Weapons such as the Mk-80 series General Purpose (GP) bomb family, Rockeye,
Gator, and 2.75" and 5" rockets are close-in, direct-attack, unguided munitions.
Close-in precision-guided munitions (PGMs), such as Laser-Guided Bombs
(LGBs), AGM-65 Mavericks, and Hellfire II improve weapon lethality via
Joint Direct Attack Munition
The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) currently under development is
a multi-service effort to develop a strap-on, GPS-aided Inertial Navigation
System (INS) guidance kit that will improve the accuracy of GP bombs in
all weather conditions. JDAM also will allow a single aircraft to attack
multiple targets from a single release point.
But Naval Aviation needs more than just close-in weapons. Point-defense
surface-to-air missiles comprise approximately 85 percent of the weapons
that make up enemy integrated air defense systems. Currently, Naval Aviation's
capability to attack targets from beyond the range of these systems is
limited to HARM, the Stand-off Land Attack Missile (SLAM), and the AGM-62
Walleye. These weapons acquire and home in on their targets using various
techniques, including passive homing on radar and radio emitters (HARM)
and electro-optics in the visible (Walleye) and infrared (SLAM) spectrums.
However, they provide limited adverse weather capability and only carry
a unitary warhead for attacks against point targets. HARM has shown great
flexibility and continues to be upgraded; the Navy is currently developing
Block V and VI modifications into the missile ‹ giving it the capability
to attack GPS jammers ‹ and adding an INS/GPS suite. Walleye, developed
in the 1960s, will be phased out of the inventory by 2005.
Joint Stand-off Weapon
A new family of Stand-off Outside Point Defense weapons will be introduced
to the fleet beginning in FY 1998-1999, beginning with the Joint Stand-Off
Weapon (JSOW). JSOW is another multi-service program that will replace
five types of the older air-to-ground weapons currently in the naval inventory.
It will provide a family of precision-guided weapons that will allow naval
aircraft to attack area as well as point targets at increased stand-off
distances, greatly increasing aircraft survivability. JSOW will be usable
in adverse weather conditions, and like JDAM, will give aircrews the ability
to attack multiple targets in a single sortie.
SLAM/SLAM-ER Expanded Response (ER)
SLAM-ER is Naval Aviation's
follow on to the SLAM Stand-off Outside Area Defense weapon. It is a day/night,
adverse-weather, precision-strike weapon with over-the-horizon range. SLAM
is based on the highly successful and reliable Harpoon anti-ship missile,
with a GPS-aided INS system for mid-course guidance, and a Maverick Imaging
Infrared sensor and a Walleye data link for precise, "man-in-the-loop"
SLAM-ER is an evolutionary upgrade of SLAM, providing the Navy and Marine
Corps with a major improvement in precision strike capability. A modified
Tomahawk warhead improves lethality and penetration. New planar wings have
been added, doubling the range and allowing terrain following flight. Mission
planning time has been reduced to 30 minutes, and targeting has been improved
via a "freeze frame" command that also reduces pilot workload. SLAM-ER
has been approved for production and will be fielded in 1999.
SLAM-ER+ will also incorporate Advanced Terminal Guidance (ATG), making
it an autonomous weapon, and enhancing the missile's capability against
small targets and targets in urban environments. ATG uses a matching algorithm
to recognize both the target and the surrounding scene, eliminating the
need for a data link. SLAM-ER weapons fitted with ATG will be fielded in
the 1999-2000 timeframe.
Overview Safety Affordable
Avionics C4/ISR Aircraft
Strike Fighter Airborne
Reconnaissance Vision E-2C
Support Aircraft EA-6B
Corps Fixed-Wing Aircraft Marine
Corps Rotary-Wing Aircraft P-3C
Aries II E-6A/B
Reserve Aviation Logistics
Specialized Skills Training Logistics Expeditionary
Traffic Control Ranges