U.S. Air Force B-2 Bomber Drops 80 JDAMS in Historic Test
Boeing [NYSE: BA] and the U.S. Air Force successfully completed their first 80 guided weapon flight test demonstration of the MK-82 500-pound
Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). The drop took place from a B-2A bomber on September 10 at the Utah Test & Training Range, Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
The B-2A aircraft, based at Edwards AFB, Calif., flew to the test site and released the 80 weapons in a single 22-second pass. The weapons were released from four Boeing-designed and built "smart" bomb racks, flew their planned flight paths and attacked all 80 targets.
"Placing maximum steel on the target is what we get paid to do as Air Force bomber pilots and that happened today in a big way," said Major William Power, 419th Flight Test Squadron B-2A project pilot. "Dropping 80
JDAM MK-82s in less than 30 seconds, with each attacking their own individual targets, is truly revolutionary."
JDAM is a low-cost guidance kit that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into accurately guided "smart" weapons. Boeing produces kits for 2,000 and 1,000-pound warheads and recently completed development for the 500-pound JDAM. The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing a production contract to produce the first 5,800 MK-82 JDAMs which will be available in 2004.
"This historic drop clearly demonstrates the incredible capability of the MK-82 JDAM," said Mike Marks, vice president and general manager of Air Force fighter, bomber and weapons programs, for Boeing. "This smaller warhead allows the warfighter to increase the number of weapons and subsequent targets while reducing collateral damage."
The B-2 flight test program began in February 2003 as part of a separate contract to integrate the MK-82 JDAM and concluded with the 80-weapon demonstration.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing
Integrated Defense Systems, or IDS, is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $25 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.