Sunday, November 1, 2009

New Air-to-Ground Weapons for the Hellenic Air Force


DefenceNet reports that last Friday the Greek Air Force took delivery of its first AGM-154C (JSOW-C/Joint Stand-Off Weapon) which arrived at Piraeus port and were then transferred to the 116th Combat Wing at Araxos.

Also, some days ago, the Air Force started ground tests with the new JDAM guidance kits. These included mission planning systems tests, alignment of the Inertial Navigation Systems and the Military Standard 1760 communications bus.

The number of JSOW-C weapons on order is small (only 40) which does not allow the weapon to be used on a large scale should there ever be a conflict. However, it does represent a leap in the Air Force’s operational capabilities. AT this point the Air Force has the Autonomous Free-flight Dispenser System for use against enemy runways. The JSOW-C is a weapon which covers the gap between the Paveway guided bombs and the recently acquired JDAM. The range of the JSOW-C can be up to 115km and it is guided by GPS or INS with Imaging Infra Red for the final phase of flight.

The Turkish Air Force already has 52 JSOW-C units and 50 A-1 models.

The value of the Greek JSOW contract was over 30 million USD. The delivery was delayed by about three months as the US has very strict criteria regarding the areas where these weapons are to be stored.

The 100 JDAM units are guidance kits for existing munitions and can be used on general purpose 1000 lbs Mk-83 bombs, 2000 lbs Mk-84 bombs or BLU-109/B penetrators. JDAMs can be released from up to 15 nautical miles from their target and in a variety of ways. Multiple targets can be engaged by one aircraft and targets can be pre-planned or assigned during flight.

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