Boeing [NYSE:BA] successfully tested its 500-pound Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) for the first time today against a moving target at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
"The U.S. Air Force and Navy are very interested in a near-term flexible weapon that can simultaneously be used against stationary targets in adverse weather and moving targets in clear weather, and this test shows that Laser JDAM can meet those requirements," said JDAM Program Manager Rick Heerdt.
For the test, a Laser JDAM was released from a U.S Air Force F-16 flying at 20,000 feet approximately four miles from an unmanned truck moving at 15 miles per hour. A second F-16 trailing the test aircraft targeted the truck with a laser. The inert JDAM tracked the laser to the target and scored a direct hit on the truck.
The laser sensor is a modular kit that is easily installed in the field to the front of existing JDAM weapons. If a laser isn't needed for a given mission, a standard JDAM can be used. The laser-guided JDAM simply adds additional capability to the outstanding GPS/INS all-weather capability current JDAMs offer, turning the JDAM into one of the most versatile weapons available.
Flight tests for the Laser JDAM are planned through February 2006, to demonstrate the system is ready for production.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.5 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; 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 sustainment solutions and launch services.