Raytheon is working with Norway’s Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace to build a long-distance aerial weapon with a standoff range of more than 150 miles, meant to keep pilots and their aircraft out of harm’s way. The Joint Strike Missile travels at low altitudes and high subsonic speeds, and can rapidly change course to strike threats on land or at sea. Development of JSM comes as China begins to roll out missiles with greater speed, agility and punch.
Raytheon and Norwegian defense company Kongsberg Defence Aerospace are developing JSM for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Joint Strike Missile is the only fifth-generation cruise missile designed to be launched from the internal weapons bay of the F-35A.
The Joint Strike Missile’s navigation system allows it to rapidly change course in flight and fly at low, radar-evading altitudes. Its imaging infrared seeker provides autonomous target recognition, and a two-way data link offers retargeting and mission abort options.
“As a former fighter pilot, I can tell you that the ability to hit your adversary before being seen, before you’re exposed to the threat, is an incredible tactical advantage,” said Kurt Neubauer, a retired U.S. Air Force major general and now, a business development lead for Raytheon Air Warfare Systems.
Some of the modernized technology wired into the JSM includes an infrared seeker to detect threats on its own, ability to fly low under the radar, and a navigation system that can change course in flight to avoid the enemy. Because decisions in the thick of battle are waged in seconds, not minutes, the JSM’s two-way data link offers pilots flexibility to alter or scrap a mission.
“The Joint Strike Missile’s agility, pinpoint accuracy and stealthy shape allow it to penetrate enemy air defenses, while minimizing pilots’ exposure to the threat,” Neubauer said.
The JSM is the only fifth-generation cruise missile designed to be carried internally by the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. It’s adaptable to multiple platforms and can be fitted externally on legacy aircraft.
The two companies also partner on the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, or NASAMS, which comprises the Sentinel radar, Kongsberg Fire Distribution Center and AMRAAM missile. NASAMS helps pilots quickly identify, engage and destroy enemy aircraft, drones and cruise missiles.
Raytheon tapped its 50-year partnership with Kongsberg Gruppen to deliver the JSM, an evolution of the Naval Strike Missile originally developed for Norway’s Navy. The NSM is a long-range, precision strike weapon that seeks and destroys enemy ships at distances greater than 100 nautical miles.
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