Live Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) Tested On B-2
TEAM Public Affairs

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, MO - Members of the Whiteman B-2 Test Team recently tested and evaluated the latest B-2 software upgrade and the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) in a series of missions over the Utah Test and Training Range.

First-ever B-2 live JSOW releases were conducted Jan. 11, 19, and 25 highlighting the latest near-precision munition in the B-2 arsenal. The JSOW, or AGM-154, is a standoff weapon that can be launched from great distances with accuracy in any weather. The JSOW is a complement to the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) the B-2 successfully employed in Operation ALLIED FORCE. Both weapons use Global Positioning System satellites to navigate to the target.

The B-2 will be the first U.S. Air Force platform to take advantage of the JSOW family of weapons. The B-2 will carry the JSOW A and the JSOW B. The JSOW A dispenses 145 Bomb Live Units (BLU)-97 combined effects bomblets which are used to attack soft targets such as SAM sites or airfields. The JSOW B dispenses 6 BLU-108 anti-armor submunitions that are used to attack mobile, armored forces.

The Air Force plans to buy 3000 AGM-154As and 3100 AGM-154Bs to be carried not only on the B-2, but also on the B-52, B-1, F-16 and the F-15E. The JSOW development has been a model joint program.

The U.S. Navy used 64 JSOW A in Kosovo and Iraq from F-18s with excellent results. Now with the JSOW on the B-2, the JSOW design and acquisition strategy has proven both successful jointness and interoperability, according to Navy Capt. Robert Wirt, the JSOW program manager.

"This is a major milestone in our continued partnership with the Navy, Air Force and Raytheon," Wirt said in describing the B-2 launches. "This proves that jointness and interoperability works... JSOW is truly common across the operational and logistics spectrum. We have shown there are no unique service requirements."

The recent B-2 testing demonstrated unique targeting and en route options for the JSOW. The first test demonstrated the ability of the munition to over fly pre-programmed waypoints. The second test validated an in-flight manual delivery selection. And the third test demonstrated the capability to use the GPS-aided targeting system with JSOW to refine target location and update target coordinates real time. All three releases resulted in the bomblets exploding and sending fragments over the entire target area.

"Phenomenal teamwork made this happen, and the results allow prompt certification of the new software to the operational user," said Lt. Col. Rich Vanderburgh, commander of the 72nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, a subordinate unit of the 53rd Wing, and the unit that conducts B-2 testing. "By passing these rigorous tests, Whiteman B-2s will upgrade with enhanced capability very soon."

The JSOW range is approximately 40 nautical miles delivered from high altitude and 15 nautical miles from low altitude. The 509th Bomb Wing is scheduled to be operational with the JSOW this spring.

"This weapon makes the B-2 an even more attractive option for warfighting commanders," said Brig. Gen. Leroy Barnidge, Jr., commander of the 509th Bomb Wing. "It offers them yet another near-precision, all-weather capability to attack the most heavily defended targets thus putting fewer American lives in harm's way."

Naval Aviation Systems Team (TEAM)
Page Last Modified: March 8, 2000