The U.S. Air Force has successfully flight tested the Boeing MK-82 (500-pound) Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
A U.S. Air Force F-16 launched the weapon from 20,000 feet and 6 miles from its target. The JDAM flew its planned flight path to a direct hit on the target.
The U.S. Air Force awarded $45 million to Boeing [NYSE: BA] for engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD) of the 500-pound JDAM in September 2000.
"The EMD flight test program is being conducted on the F-16 with follow-on integration on the U.S. Air Force's B-2 and the U.S. Navy's F/A-18 aircraft," said Kim Michel, Boeing JDAM program manager. "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."
The flight test program began in December 2000 with captive-carry flights and fit checks from a number of different aircraft. Controlled (guided) launches and separation flight tests have been conducted at Eglin Air Force Base since the beginning of the year. Separation flights began in April at Patuxent River, Md., from a U.S. Navy F/A-18C/D aircraft.
"The MK-82 JDAM EMD program is very healthy; exceeding requirements, on schedule and within cost," said David Martin, Boeing MK-82 JDAM program manager.
Originally designed for 2,000-pound (MK-84 and BLU-109) warheads, JDAM kits have been developed for 1,000-pound (MK-83 and BLU-110) warheads. The MK-82 guidance kit is common to all JDAM variants. The same mission computer, navigation unit and satellite receiver are used in all JDAM kits.
The MK-82 JDAM and the bomb rack assemblies for the B-2 will be available in 2004.
Boeing, teamed with European weapons manufacturer MBDA, is offering the MK-82 JDAM guidance kit to satisfy the United Kingdom Precision Guided Bomb Program requirement. A decision is expected in December 2002.
Boeing Military Aircraft and Missile Systems designs, produces and provides follow-on support for fighters, bombers, transports, rotorcraft and weapons for the United States and its allies around the globe. As the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer, Boeing has delivered more than 130,000 military aircraft to the U.S. government and international customers. Among emerging businesses are unmanned systems, as well as military aircraft that are based on the company's renowned commercial airplanes.