The Boeing Company and Alenia Marconi Systems have signed a teaming agreement involving the
Joint Direct Attack Munition that could significantly expand the global market for the near-precision weapon.
With this agreement, Alenia will market JDAM throughout much of Europe and the Middle East. It may also assemble JDAMs and derivative weapons that its customers purchase commercially, rather than through the U.S. foreign military sales program.
The agreement, contingent on U.S. government approval, supports the U.S. objective of ensuring interoperability among allied nations by providing a strong European industrial partner for JDAM and its derivatives.
"Our entering into this agreement with Alenia Marconi Systems is an exciting opportunity for Boeing," said Mike Marks, vice president and general manager, Boeing Weapons Programs. "It expands the market for JDAM and JDAM derivatives, and it fits perfectly into the Boeing vision of forging new frontiers in aerospace."
Boeing, which does JDAM work in St. Charles, Mo., and has delivered more than 10,000 of the combat-proven munitions to the U.S. military, will retain marketing and production responsibility for JDAMs ordered by the United States, any ordered through the U.S. foreign military sales program and select commercial orders.
What's more, the company and its U.S. subcontractors will supply guidance and control units for JDAMs that Alenia assembles.
Boeing and Alenia expect their agreement to continue after Alenia, Matra BAe Dynamics and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. combine their missile businesses. That combination could be complete later this year.
The new working relationship gives Alenia access to JDAM technology for the United Kingdom's Precision Guided Bomb program, while Boeing gains access to Alenia weapons technology such as the Diamond Back wing kit -- which has been demonstrated on JDAM as a means of extending the weapon's range.
It also commits the companies to working together on the Small Diameter Bomb should Boeing win that U.S. program.
JDAM is a kit that converts unguided bombs into near-precision munitions. The United States has ordered more than 28,000 units. It is also being integrated on Israeli and Italian aircraft.