November 25, 2010:
The U.S. Navy has received the first eleven upgraded JSOW AGM-154 guided glide bombs. This C1 model can hit moving targets, using a data link with the aircraft that launched it.
JSOW entered service a decade ago and is basically a smart bomb with wings. That enables it to glide up to 70 kilometers from the aircraft dropping it, to a target on the ground. Range is about 25 kilometers if dropped from low altitude. The original JSOW cost $282,000 each, while the latest model costs about $720,000 each.
JSOW also contains more elaborate fins and software that enables it to follow a specific route. Like the wingless JDAM smart bomb, JSOW uses GPS and inertial guidance (as a backup) to find its target. Like JDAM, JSOW hits within 10 meters (31 feet) of its aiming point. The Air Force dropped JSOW, in favor of other guided bombs, in 2005. But the navy is more enthusiastic about the system, and there are plans to use JSOW as an anti-radar weapon, by adding additional sensors to the guidance system. Other guidance system enhancements can make JSOW even more useful, and it's still half the cost of powered glide bombs like JASSM (which the air force favors).