Boeing [NYSE: BA] and the
U.S. Air Force have successfully completed flight-testing of the MK-82 500-pound
Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM, from an F-16 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
A U.S. Air Force F-16 yesterday launched the final JDAM MK-82 weapon to complete a successful weapon development flight test series on the F-16 aircraft. The weapon, launched from stressing flight test conditions, flew as planned and impacted the target.
The U.S. Air Force awarded $45 million to Boeing for engineering, manufacturing and development, or EMD, of the 500-pound MK-82 and BLU-111 warhead JDAM in September 2000.
"The EMD flight test program has demonstrated the remarkable accuracy of the MK-82 JDAM," said Kim Michel, Boeing JDAM program manager. "This smaller version of the baseline 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. Integration flights are continuing on the F/A-18 and are planned for the B-2, the primary U.S. Air Force aircraft for this weapon.
Originally designed for 2,000-pound MK-84 and BLU-109 warheads, JDAM kits have also been developed for 1,000-pound MK-83 and BLU-110 warheads. The MK-82 guidance kit uses many parts common with other JDAM variants to maximize economies of scale and minimize weapon cost. The same mission computer, navigation unit and satellite receiver are used in all JDAM kits.
"The strakes that are mounted on the mid-body section of the 2,000 and 1,000 pound JDAM warheads have been moved to the nose of the MK-82," said Michel. "This allows for a more compact arrangement in the new B-2 bomb rack assembly, allowing the B-2 to carry up to 80 500-pound JDAMs."
The MK-82 JDAM and 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 procurement decision on that program is expected in March 2003.
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