Air-Launched Weapons

Australia signs for enhanced JSM guidance capability

17 April 2017
The JSM is designed to fit in all relevant weapon stations of the F-35, like the F-35A, pictured here. Source: Raytheon

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has signed an NOK150 million (USD17.4 million) contract with Kongsberg Defence Systems for the integration of an additional terminal guidance capability with the stand-off Joint Strike Missile (JSM).

Designed for anti-surface warfare and naval fire support missions, JSM is a high-subsonic air-launched development of Kongsberg's Naval Strike Missile, funded by the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF).

Weighing 416 kg, JSM is 4 m in length, 48 cm in width (stowed), and 52 cm in height. Equipped with a programmable fuze, with custom-designed fuze programmes downloaded prior to launch, the missile features a 500 lb-class combined blast (primary effect) and fragmentation (secondary effect) high-explosive charge insensitive warhead encased in titanium alloy, with gross weight of 120 kg and an explosive weight of 100 kg (TNT equivalent). A Link 16-compatible two-way data link provides for target update, re-targeting, mission abort, and bomb hit indication communication.

Currently, guidance is delivered by inertial navigation, aided by global positioning and terrain contour matching systems. The missile features a terminal target acquisition capability with Autonomous Target Recognition enabled by an imaging infrared (IIR) seeker. Terminal accuracy is given at less than 0.6 m (distance between the aim point and actual hit point). The specific range of the missile has not been disclosed.

Under the provisions of the contract with the Australian DoD - announced in early April - Kongsberg will integrate and qualify a new low-cost, electronic support measure (ESM) capability with the current IIR package, enabling JSMs to locate targets on the basis of their electronic signature.

Developed by BAE Systems Australia, the ESM features a lightweight passive radio frequency (PRF) sensor with an additional land attack and littoral attack capability as well as a two-way communications line for target adjustment and inflight termination.

The four-channel digital ESM receiver (dimensions: 191 mm x 95mm x 64 mm) features a "better than 1è18 GHz RF Input", "better than 700 MHz instantaneous bandwidth", high precision direction finding (better than 2 root mean square), minimal phase group delay, minimal amplitude ripple, a dual conversion superheterodyne architecture, and an ethernet interface.

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