US decided it doesn’t need an extended-range stealth cruise missile

WASHINGTON, BM – Surprisingly, the United States decided to end the program to develop a stealth cruise missile, better known as the JSOW-ER. This is what Joseph Trevithick wrote in his article in The Drive.

US decided it doesn't need an extended-range stealth missile
Photo credit: Defense Update

JSOW-ER is a development for the US Air Force based on Raytheon’s AGM-154 missile. The start of the project is in 2019 and was to be completed by 2023, when the missile was scheduled to enter service officially. JSOW-ER has already been tested, and according to the latest information, it has reached a distance of 426 km.

There is no official information on why the Pentagon has decided to suspend the project and whether it has been temporarily frozen. The solution is extraordinary, as the AGM-154 is a missile capable of hitting only stationary targets, while the JSOW-ER is guided and could pursue and hit moving targets.

The AGM-154 is a missile used to arm the fifth-generation F-35 fighter and the F-18 Super Hornet. A report on military sales in recent years shows that the United States offers this missile to its partners worldwide. JSOW-ER was also expected to be part of future sales.

JSOW-ER had to increase the range from 130 to 560 km. In a configuration with the F-35 fighter, the cruise missile was designed for internal carrying, preventing the fighter from using its weapons in flight. According to the network’s information, the stealth rocket powers by a Pratt & Whitney TJ-150 turbojet engine.

A reference in the highly advertised as the largest US defense budget for fiscal 2022 shows that the project no longer receives funding. The state will buy what has been developed and produced so far, but the motives for stopping the development remain unclear.

“JSOW Extend Range development has been removed from the program roadmap,” the budget documents state bluntly. “The Navy has decided not to pursue JSOW ER capability.”

Joseph Trevithick added in his article that JSOW-ER would give additional strike power and precise defeat to the US Air Force. There is a lot of logic in his claims, based on the fact that in recent years the tactics of military action have changed – hitting targets from the air at long distances, saving the life of the pilot, and the expensive weapon system.

Joseph Trevithick believes that a possible US advantage over China and Russia no longer exists.

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