Defense Update News:

Raytheon Introduces Upgrades for JSOW, Maverick Aerial Strike Weapons

Raytheon announced progress on upgrades being developed for two of its combat proven air-delivered guided weapons. The company's JSOW C-1 weapon has recently passed the critical design review milestone, to be followed by flight testing next year while new software upgrades introduced to the Maverick TV guided weapon will improve its ability to engage distant targets.

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 The U.S. Navy and Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) completed a critical design review of the Joint Standoff Weapon C-1, achieving a major program milestone. The new weapon adds moving maritime target capability and a two-way data link to the combat-proven JSOW family. According to Commander Andrew "Chunder" Kessler, JSOW deputy program manager for JSOW in the Navy's Precision Strike Weapons program office, once fielded in 2010 the new weapon will represent the world's first network-enabled weapon. Forthcoming phases in the testing program will include begin captive carry testing of the JSOW C-1 from an F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft to commence in 2009. Raytheon is currently negotiating the first production lot of JSOW C-1 missiles, toward an expected contract award in December 08.

Raytheon is also working on an upgrade for the AGM-65 H/K TV-guided Maverick air-to-surface missile. "The software retrofit will improve the pilots' ability to visually identify and engage distant targets," said Col. Eric Theisen, Air Combat Command's Advanced Programs division chief. "This translates into greater standoff distance for the weapon and better survivability for the operator." This upgrade is part of a $5.7 million contract option awarded by the US Air Force in October 08.