The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has been awarded a $28 million U.S. Air Force quick reaction capability contract for delivery of its Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (LJDAM) weapon system.
The contract will add 600 laser seekers (400 for the U.S. Air Force and 200 for the U.S. Navy) to the services' existing inventory of 500-pound bombs. Boeing will deliver the systems by June 2009.
"Laser JDAM's performance continues to exceed our highest expectations," said Dan Jaspering, Boeing Direct Attack program manager. "This weapon will fill a significant gap in capability currently encountered by our warfighting customers, specifically the ability to attack high-speed moving targets and targets lacking accurate coordinate data."
During recent demonstration tests at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons and F-15E Strike Eagles flying at 24,000 feet released 12 500-pound LJDAMs that hit within lethal range of multiple high-speed moving targets. Using onboard targeting pods, the launch aircraft laser-designated the roofs of the target vehicles and guided the weapons to successful impacts.
The Laser JDAM sensor is a modular kit that is easily installed in the field to the front of existing JDAM weapons. The laser sensor further enhances the highly capable Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System JDAM into one of the most mission flexible, low-cost weapons available in the world today.
Initial production deliveries for the U.S. military are scheduled to begin early next year. Several potential international customers have requested LJDAM price and availability information.