Raytheon JSOW ‘Days Away’ From F-35A Certification

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Raytheon says its Joint Stand-Off Weapon‭ (‬JSOW‭) ‬will be cleared to fly on the F-35A within days‭.‬
The certification is expected following the conclusion of operational test flights of the missile on the F-35C earlier this year‭, ‬which generated sufficient data for weapon integration to be pushed beyond the carrier-optimized variant of the jet‭.‬
The development was revealed during the recent Dubai Airshow‭.‬
“Airworthiness certification was for the F-35C first‭, ‬and that was accomplished by the U.S‭. ‬Navy‭,‬”‭ ‬says Mark Borup‭, ‬Raytheon’s business development lead for medium-range strike‭. ‬“Because of the success of those operational tests‭, ‬the U.S‭. ‬feels very comfortable with completing that airworthiness certification to include the F-35A this year‭. ‬Lockheed Martin has already submitted the package–it’s just awaiting signature‭. ‬So we’re just days away from the airworthiness certification to be released for the A as well‭, ‬which is a significant international platform‭.‬”
Although Raytheon declines to name export customers‭, ‬the U.S‭. ‬Defense Department said two Gulf Arab countries as both requesting‭ ‬exports of JSOW in 2013‭. ‬There‭, ‬the weapon is flown on fourth-generation fighters–F-15s and F-16s‭. ‬According to Borup‭, ‬these two may soon be joined by others in the Middle East‭.‬
“We have two existing customers in the region‭,‬”‭ ‬he says‭. ‬“We have already made deliveries and they have employed the weapon in training as recently as last month‭. ‬And we have four other‭ ‬nations that are in varying stages of acquisition‭.‬”
The capabilities Borup believes are particularly well-suited to Gulf region requirements are the weapon’s standoff range and its ability to resist electronic attack‭.‬
“One of the things I would suggest is of high concern in the Middle East is the increased presence of GPS jamming capability‭,‬”‭ ‬he says‭. ‬“JSOW is a weapon of choice in that type of environment‭. ‬It’s very‭, ‬very difficult to jam‭, ‬so it can get through almost any tactical situation‭.‬”

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