Air Weapons: July 8, 2002

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The US Air Force and Navy have decided to abandon work on the anti-armor variant of the Joint Stand Off Weapon. This eliminates 4,800 JSOW-B anti-armor weapons costing $700 million from Pentagon plans. Instead, the flying services will use the Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser to defeat enemy armored divisions. This weapon has a shorter range (30 miles compared to 45) but carries ten BLU-108 sensor-fuzed submunitions compared to only six on JSOW-B. At least in theory, every submunition will lock onto and destroy a given enemy tank. Such weapons as this are needed for the current two-war strategy, in which airpower will have to blunt enemy tank offensives with smart anti-tank weapons.--Stephen V Cole


 


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