By Darnelle Hafer
The Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) Program reached another milestone Friday with the execution of the B-52 JSOW endurance flight test.
A B-52 from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., flew an 18-hour mission with a single wing fully loaded with six JSOWs. Aircrews from Edwards AFB flew the JSOW mission at both low and high altitudes. This was the first time a new version of the B-52 software was flown, and it performed flawlessly through simulated JSOW launches and a series of other planned test points. This clears the way for the first-ever JSOW launch from the B-52, planned for mid-November.
After landing, personnel from Edwards AFB and Raytheon Systems Company of Tucson, Ariz., inspected the JSOWs and confirmed that they passed the endurance test with no problems.
JSOW is one of the next-generation, advanced Global Positioning System all-weather, launch-and-leave weapons scheduled to replace a wide array of Navy and Air Force weapons over the next several years. JSOW provides a highly survivable, standoff capability against enemy targets, stationary, mobile armored forces, and surface-to-air threats.
The JSOW has completed developmental flight testing on the F/A-18C/D, F-16 Block 50 and B-2. JSOW was successfully employed in combat in Kosovo and continuously being used in Iraq. After integration on the B-52, JSOW will eventually be integrated and fielded on the F/A-18E/F, B-1B, F-16 Block 40 and F-15E.
Conceived as a multiservice weapon, JSOW is a joint program being developed and produced by a combined Navy and Air Force team. The Navy JSOW Program Office (PMA-201), located here, and the Air Armament Center Area Attack Program, located at Eglin AFB, Fla., are responsible for the management of the JSOW program. Raytheon is the prime developer.