The Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM ER) demonstrated significant range increase while maintaining its expected accuracy during flight testing conducted by Boeing and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
The testing centered on a new wing kit that, when used in conjunction with the weapon’s guidance kit, increases the bomb’s range from approximately 15 miles (24 kilometers) to more than 45 miles (72 kilometers), as shown during tests above the Woomera Test Range in Australia.
“The JDAM ER wing kit takes advantage of the conventional JDAM aircraft interface and Small Diameter Bomb glide technology,” said Beth Kluba, vice president, Boeing Weapons and Missile Systems. “This keeps integration, development and sustainment costs low while bringing customers the range increase needed to neutralize current and future threats.”
The 500-pound (227-kilogram) winged JDAM, jointly developed by Boeing and Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organisation, was dropped from RAAF F/A-18 Classic Hornets from altitudes ranging from 40,000 feet (12,190 meters) down to 10,000 feet (3,048 meters). The weapon deployed its wing kit successfully during each test and flew to a pre-determined aim point, impacting within meters of its target.
”The extended range wing kit will allow the Australian Defence Force to employ JDAM more flexibly and safely in the target area,” said Rear Adm. Tony Dalton, responsible for the acquisition of Guided Weapons in Australia. “Additionally, the program also stands to significantly benefit local Australian industry.”
Boeing will produce and integrate JDAM ER wing kits for the RAAF under a contract awarded in 2011. Following additional flight and certification testing, production and initial deliveries of JDAM ER to the RAAF are planned for 2015.
Ferra Engineering supplies major sub-assemblies for the JDAM ER modular wing kit to Boeing from its facility in Brisbane, Australia.
JDAM is a low-cost guidance kit that converts existing unguided bombs into near- precision weapons. Including the JDAM ER wing kit, Boeing designed JDAM technology to accept a variety of upgrades such as a laser sensor, improved immunity to GPS jamming, and an all-weather radar sensor. Boeing has built more than 260,000 JDAM tail kits in its St. Charles, Mo., facility since production started in 1998. JDAM is used by 27 international militaries.