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Turkey orders JSOW missiles for its F-16s

April 6, 2006 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Turkey has ordered a batch of Raytheon's Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW), the first international sale of the air-launched missile booked by the U.S. defense contractor.

USAF F-16D block 50, #90836, showing off the new AGM-154B JSOW missile [USAF photo]

Raytheon received a foreign military sales contract from the Naval Air Systems Command for procurement of JSOW AGM-154 A-1 with the BLU-111 warhead and JSOW AGM-154 C with the Broach warhead.

The JSOW will be deployed with the Turkish air force's F-16 fleet as a long-range weapon against enemy anti-aircraft installations and other hardened or soft targets.

With a range of 70 miles, the JSOW is guided by an infra-red seeker and global positioning system-inertial navigation. (GPS/IN) and extends the relatively limited range of the fully-armed F-16.

The weapon is hardly new, having been in the U.S. military's arsenal for nearly 10 years. But it is considered top of the line when it comes to removing threats to air operations and has been fired in anger more than 400 times, according to Raytheon.

Raytheon indicated the JSOW was attracting the interest of other overseas customers. A contract for JSOW-C integration for Poland F-16s was awarded in 2003, and Poland's procurement of the system is expected next year. In addition, letters of agreement for JSOW integration with Greek F-16s and Singapore F-15s have been signed by the U.S. government.

In the meantime, the development of the next version of the JSOW is already under way. The Block III model is scheduled for production in 2009 and will include improved weapons data links and the ability to launch against moving targets.