Raytheon said the approval of the AGM-154 JSOW precision-strike glide bomb would pave the way for the company to offer the weapon system to international F-35A operators.
Mark Borup, senior manager of business development for air warfare systems at Raytheon's missile systems business, said the Air Force will use testing data from the U.S. Navy to facilitate the integration of the standoff weapon onto the fighter jet. The Navy has qualified the JSOW for use on its fleet of F-35C planes.
“It is going to be fully integrated on the F-35A and the importance of that is that the USA has a number of friends and allies who have the F-35A,“ said Borup. “It's very significant. It's a capability that many of our friends and allies really, really advocate for.“
Borup added that six countries from the Middle East have initiated efforts to acquire the JSOW-C Block III variant.
AGM-154 JSOW has a GPS-guided glide bomb and can also be integrated into Lockheed Martin's F-16 and Boeing's F-15 and F/A-18E/F aircraft. The Block III variant features a tandem warhead and an infrared seeker designed to zero in on hostile targets.