Boeing has been awarded a ceiling increase modification to a previously awarded contract for Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) tail kits.
The modification, worth around $312 million, was awarded by the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) located in Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
This ceiling increase provides for JDAM strap-on inertial guidance kits with the capability to receive guidance updates from global positioning systems to increase weapon accuracy for conventional inventory bombs.
Work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri, and is expected to be complete by March 30, 2020.
Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM)
Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) is a guidance kit that converts unguided bombs, or “dumb bombs”, into all-weather “smart” munitions.
JDAM-equipped bombs are guided by an integrated inertial guidance system coupled to a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, giving them a published range of up to 15 nautical miles (28 km).
JDAM-equipped bombs range from 500 pounds (227 kg) to 2,000 pounds (907 kg). When installed on a bomb, the JDAM kit is given a GBU (Guided Bomb Unit) nomenclature, superseding the Mark 80 or BLU (Bomb, Live Unit) nomenclature of the bomb to which it is attached.
The JDAM is not a stand-alone weapon; rather it is a “bolt-on” guidance package that converts unguided gravity bombs into precision-guided munitions (PGMs). The key components of the system consist of a tail section with aerodynamic control surfaces, a (body) strake kit, and a combined inertial guidance system and GPS guidance control unit.
The JDAM was meant to improve upon laser-guided bomb and imaging infrared technology, which can be hindered by bad ground and weather conditions. Laser seekers are now being fitted to some JDAMs.