The Boeing Company delivered the first production Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) to the Department of Defense today. The delivery ceremony took place at the Boeing JDAM facility in St. Charles, Mo., where the weapon is assembled.
Ms. Darleen Druyun, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition and Management, accepted delivery of the JDAM on behalf of the Government. "The delivery of this weapon today marks the beginning of a new era. JDAM introduces a new and awesome capability that will revolutionize warfare," Druyun said.
JDAM is a low-cost guidance kit that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into very accurate guided weapons. The weapon can be launched up to 15 miles from the target in virtually any weather condition. It locates and guides to the target location through position information received from an Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System located in the tail.
Alan Mulally, Boeing senior vice president, remarked during the ceremony, "This is an exciting time for those who participated in the development of JDAM. It combines all of the ingredients leading up to production: weapon system design and development, acquisition reform and teamwork throughout to deliver the best capability and value to our customer."
"Boeing is proud to be the system integrator on JDAM. The process used to develop this weapon has opened exciting new possibilities for rapid, affordable weapon system development," said Mike Marks, Boeing vice president, Air Force programs. Marks went on to acknowledge that weapon development bettered requirements for price, performance and production.
JDAM has proven to be the most cost-effective of the "smart" munitions. The initial government estimates for unit cost of JDAM kits was approximately $40,000 each. Innovative development strategies and strict adherence to acquisition reform initiatives allowed Boeing to deliver the weapon for much less than half that amount. The initial production contract is valued at $19.7 million with the overall contract estimated at nearly $2 billion through the life of the program.
Most U.S. military attack/bomber aircraft have already demonstrated JDAM capability, including the U.S. Air Force B-1, B-2, B-52 and F-16, and the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps F/A-18. Plans are under way to demonstrate compatibility with the Air Force F-15, F-117 and F-22; the Marine Corps AV-8B; Navy F-14, and the Joint Strike Fighter.