Air Weapons: July 12, 2003


The Navy has ordered faster introduction of the new JSOW-C (Joint Stand Off Weapon), and is doing this by delaying the building of some JSOW-B bombs. The JSOW-C is a precision weapon that uses GPS and an "imaging infrared seeker" to more precisely hit targets. The seeker stores a digital photo of the target in its memory and then scans the target area as it approaches the GPS coordinates, and then goes right for the target indicated by its computer. The JSOW-C could, for example, be programmed to go through a window, or other opening in a building, or hit a specific part of a structure. The JSOW-C uses a 200 shaped charge warhead, which can penetrate many feet of concrete when it detonates. This can be used for taking down structures like bridges, which require the destruction of specific supporting  parts to be taken down. The air force and navy are still buying 8,800 JSOW-Bs (a cluster bomb), and 3,300 JSOW-C. The JSOW is a smart bomb built to glide long distances to its target, up to 150 kilometers if dropped from high altitude.


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