Photo By Christian Turner | A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon carries a developmental test version of Norway’s Joint Strike Missile. The 416th Flight Test Squadron recently wrapped up JSM testing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christian Turner)
US F-16s Test New Norwegian Long-Range Strike Missile
22:24 15.06.2018 (updated 22:27 15.06.2018)
The US and Norway have completed testing their new air-launched, long-range Joint Strike Missile just two weeks after the US Navy announced that it would adopt a naval version of the Norwegian missile.
On June 1, the US Navy announced that it had selected Kongsberg Gruppen's Naval Strike Missile (NSM) as its official new long-range attack missile. The Norwegian NSM, which is produced jointly with Raytheon, beat Lockheed Martin's Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) and Boeing's advanced Harpoon to win the contract to supply missiles to the Navy. In May 2017, Lockheed and Boeing dropped their bids to compete for the contract out of frustration of what they felt were requirements that skewed toward Norway's JSM, Defense News reported.
The US Air Force announced Friday that it had completed a major round of testing for the Kongsberg-Raytheon Joint Strike Missile (JSM), which is specifically designed to be stored in the internal weapons bay of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. "The next step is for the Norwegians to integrate the JSM on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and then on to further weapons and integration testing," the announcement states.
Before testing the JSM from an F-35, military engineers and pilots determined it was most prudent to test the JSM from an F-16 first. According to Collin Drake, a JSM project engineer, "the F-35 is still undergoing its own technology development and design iterations, which brings its own challenges." The F-16 Falcon has no internal weapons bay, as the F-35 does, and so deploying new weapons on it is much easier, even though the US Navy doesn't use any F-16s in combat.
Testing the weapon from an F-16 "made it a lot more efficient and effective… to be able to test, mid-cycle, a new type of weapon," Drake noted.
Joint Strike Missile
by Akela Freedom
Long-distance Anti-ship Missile
The Joint Strike Missile - or JSM - is a long-distance anti-ship missile designed to take on high value, heavily defended targets. The long standoff range (distance from the aircraft to the target) ensures that the aircraft and pilots remain out of harm's way.
JSM has sophisticated target acquisition capability that uses Autonomous Target Recognition, made possible by an imaging infrared seeker. It is the only fifth-generation cruise missile that will be integrated on the F-35 and also available for integration on other aircraft intended for offensive anti-surface warfare (OASuW) applications.
- Advanced engagement planning system that exploits the geography in the area
- Accurate navigation system for flight close to terrain
- High maneuverability to allow flight planning in close vicinity to land masses
- Discriminating seeker with imaging infrared technology
- Two-way networking datalink (compliant with standard military equipment) offering target-update, retargeting and mission-abort capabilities
The Joint Strike Missile is a partnership between Raytheon Company and Norwegian defense company Kongsberg Gruppen. Source: raytheon.com
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