The final flight test of Norway’s new air-to-ground, designed to be carried internally by the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, is scheduled for March 2018, IHS Jane’s reports.
The Joint Strike Missile (JSM) is a new long range anti-ship and anti-surface missile. Derived from Norwegian defense contractor Kongsberg's Naval Strike Missile, JSM is capable of being carried in the internal weapons bays of the F-35 fighter, preserving its stealthy profile for high-risk missions.
A Norwegian Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson told Jane’s, “The ongoing effort of qualifying the JSM missile includes a small number of test-firings using a legacy F-16 as launch platform. The objective is to prepare and qualify the weapon for the subsequent integration on the F-35A. We have so far completed five events and have one remaining test-firing in the qualification programme, planned for March 2018. These activities are funded as part of the JSM Development Phase 3 as approved by Parliament in 2014”.
The first test of JSM was conducted in October 2015. In December 2016, Kongsberg conducted the first long-range powered flight test of the missile from an Edwards Air Force-based F-16 over the Utah Test and Training Range west of Salt Lake City.
In the May–June period of 2017, the company conducted third and fourth trials, with the missile flown without a seeker capability in both tests.
“The tests were designed to measure the missile flight in real life and compare it to simulations to check that both correspond, and to measure fuel consumption at different altitudes. Actually, the fuel consumption measured a little better than in the modelling,” Hans Kongelf, vice-president of Kongsberg's Missile Systems division told Jane’s.
The JSM is a subsonic missile driven by a turbojet engine. It uses an imaging infrared sensor to identify its target, and carries a 276 pound blast fragmentation warhead. JSM isn't just useful against land targets.
Apart from being designed to fit with F-35, the missile is also compatible with the Mk.41 vertical launch missile silo built into American and allied warships.