RELEASE: 98-74July 29, 1998

Navy Accepts First Joint Standoff Weapon

By Eddie C. Riley, Senior Writer

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MD - - - The first-production Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) rolled out at the right price, on time and exceeding expectations as a result of the Navy’s way of doing business known as “acquisition reform.”

During a July 8 ceremony at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas, Navy and Air Force officials from the Program Executive Office for Tactical Aircraft Programs (PEO (T)), the Pentagon and the fleet accepted the advanced missile from Larry Schmidt, vice president of Strike Weapon Systems Division, Raytheon Defense System, the program’s industry partner. Representing the program’s two threshold aircraft, a Navy F/A-18 Hornet and an Air Force F-16 flanked the official party and 300-plus JSOW program team members and other distinguished guests

Rear Adm. Jeff Cook, PEO (T), signed the Defense Department Form 250 formally accepting the first air-to-ground missile (AGM)-154A, which is compatible with eight aircraft in the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force inventory. The “standoff” capability of the weapon allows these aircraft to remain outside the enemy threat area, up to more than 40 miles, and deliver the weapon accurately on a target.

“It should come as no surprise to any of us that the JSOW Program is unfolded on cost, on schedule and meeting or exceeding all performance requirements,” Cook said. “In fact, these efficiencies have allowed JSOW to be the first weapon any of us can ever remember to be deployed nine months before arrival of production configuration weapons, and without technical support of any kind, I might add.” The operator-friendly test models were deployed aboard the USS Nimitz last year and are now deployed on the USS Eisenhower.

“JSOW’s modular design with the ability to easily integrate new payloads into the common truck design will allow the weapon to grow and respond to evolving requirements far into the future,” Cook added. “With the inherent reliability built into the weapon, and backed up by a 20-year, ‘bumper-to-bumper’ warranty, JSOW will be around to positively influence the outcome of conflicts for many, many years to come.” The JSOW is designed to replace Vietnam-era glide bombs, and other weapons that have been in inventory for at least 25 years. The goal is to get rid of multiple, aging weapons and go to a single weapon capable of multiple functions that comes from a single logistics management pipeline.

Cook asked members of the JSOW team to stand and help him symbolically turn over the first production unit to the customer, Rear Adm. “Carlos” Johnson, head of Aviation Plans and Requirements for the Navy at the Pentagon.

“On behalf of the Chief of Naval Operations ... We accept this weapon clearly as a reminder to our potential foes that we are moving into the new millennium right now, and we can put people at risk with greater lethality than we ever have before. This is a real revolution in warfare,” Johnson said.

“We don’t want to put any of our young men and women at risk any more than we have to. These type weapons give us increased standoff and lethality. The asymmetrical world of today means that you don’t know where that next threat wants to come from and you, as Teddy Roosevelt, want to have the biggest sticks on the block, and, these are the biggest sticks on the block,” Johnson added. He urged the media to spread the word to potential adversaries to “think twice about (aggression) because we can get to you before you can get to us.”

Vice Adm. John Mazach, Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, accepted the JSOW on behalf of the fleet. Mazach commented on some of the other benefits JSOW allows and cited value added such as enhancing the precision strike capability, easing the requirement for support aircraft on sorties and the ability to pursue multiple targets off of one platform.

The F/A-18 and F-16 can carry four of the 15-foot-long vehicles per sortie with different payloads locked on different targets. The performance of JSOW in the fleet will allow American aviation forces to “expose fewer of those good-guy airplanes and those good guys who fly those airplanes to bad-guy threats,” Mazach said.

PMA-201, the JSOW Program Office, has overall responsibility for coordination of JSOW development, test and evaluation and production as deemed required by the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. This requirement was validated in 1986 as a Navy-only program, but was designated a joint-service program, under Navy leadership, following Desert Storm in 1992.


POC Name: Jim GuthriePOC Tel: 301-757-0604