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Standoff Weapon Ready for Free Flights: Raytheon has completed captive carry testing of its joint standoff weapon extended range system in preparation for free-flight testing in 2009, the company announced yesterday. “This test proved our flush-inlet design provides the JSOW-ER's engine with enough air to ignite and operate under extreme conditions," said Harry Schulte, Raytheon’s VP of Air Warfare Systems. JSOW-ER is an engine-fitted variant of the company’s baseline unpowered JSOW glide weapon that is in service with the Air Force and Navy. The company is under contract to the Navy to mature the extended-range variant, which is capable of flying 300 nautical miles, according to Raytheon. It uses the same Hamilton Sundstrand engine as is in the miniature air launched decoy that Raytheon is building for the Air Force. Last year, the company said JSOW-ER was one affordable alternative it had to offer the Air Force in the event that Lockheed Martin’s JASSM cruise missile program got the axe, which ended up not happening.