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Joint Strike Missile scores "direct hit" in latest test firing from F-16

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An F-16 fighter of the US Air Force carries a developmental test version of the Joint Strike Missile in this file photo. Courtesy: USAF

LONDON (BNS): The US and Norway-built Joint Strike Missile (JSM) has scored a direct hit of the target during its latest test firing from the US Air Force’s F-16 fighter aircraft.

According to an official release issued on July 16 by US’s Raytheon, which is developing the JSM in partnership with Norway’s Kongsberg Gruppen for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the long-range, anti-ship weapon was test fired by the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft at the Utah Test and Training Range.

The test, conducted by the  Norwegian Defence Ministry, "demonstrated the weapon's ability to change course to avoid hitting a decoy target, and fly at low, radar-evading altitudes," the statement said.

"The missile flew toward a pre-programmed target location, covering varied terrain and altitudes. JSM's seeker scanned the target area and instead of homing in on a dummy target, the missile diverted to hit the actual target," it said without mentioning the date of the test firing.  

"JSM demonstrated its remarkable ability to recognize and destroy specific targets in challenging flight conditions," said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. "This test signalled the completion of an important phase of development, and showed promising progress for this missile to outpace some of today's toughest defence systems."

JSM is a long-distance, anti-ship missile designed to take on high-value, heavily defended land targets, according to Raytheon. The weapon is an evolution of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) that was originally developed for Norway's Navy, and offered by Raytheon and Kongsberg for the US Navy's over-the-horizon weapon system acquired by the Navy.

Before proceeding with integration testing on the F-35 stealth fighters, the JSM is being tested on the F-16 Fighting Falcon of the USAF.

According to Kongsberg Gruppen, the development phase of the JSM is now in its final stage and is scheduled for completion in autumn 2018.

"The most recent tests were completed in March 2018, with the seeker and warhead  implemented. The test was conducted on a land-based target, with a successful result," the Norwegian defence firm said in a June 18, 2018 release.

Tags:

JSM  USAF  F 16  Norway  Raytheon  Northrop Gruppen  F 35  
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