The U.S. Air Force recently awarded $45 million to The Boeing Company for engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD) of the 500-pound Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM.
Boeing will conduct EMD on the F-16 and integrate the lightweight JDAM on the U.S. Air Force's B-2 and the U.S. Navy's F/A-18 aircraft. This smaller version of JDAM improves mission capability by allowing more JDAMs to be loaded on an aircraft and reduces damage around the intended target due to the smaller warhead.
"Boeing is proud to add the 500-pound Mark-82 to the JDAM family of weapons," said Mike Marks, vice president and general manager, Weapons Programs. "We are also proud that JDAM development has bettered requirements for price, performance and production."
The work is scheduled to be completed by the Boeing weapons facility in St. Charles, Mo., by December 2002.
JDAM is a low-cost guidance kit that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into highly accurate guided weapons. It can be launched up to 15 miles from the target in virtually any weather condition. JDAM uses information received from an Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System to locate targets and guide the missile. Boeing funded the initial development of the
500-pound JDAM kit using the same components found in the standard 2,000- and 1,000-pound JDAM configurations.
Flight tests were successfully carried out this year and in 1999.
JDAM is a program selected by the U.S. Department of Defense to test methods for streamlining the acquisition process. By incorporating extensive use of commercial practices and off-the-shelf components, Boeing is able to produce a highly accurate and reliable JDAM at a low system cost.
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; the Navy F-14; and the multi-service Joint Strike Fighter.