The US Department of Defense has awarded a $261m contract to Boeing Defense Space and Security for additional supplies of Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) tailkits.
A joint programme of the US Air Force (USAF) and the Department of Navy, JDAM is a low-cost, modular guidance kit that guides conventional inventory bombs to their accurate targets.
Boeing will supply JDAM strap-on inertial guidance kits with the capability to receive guidance updates from Global Positioning Systems (GPS) for precision guidance.
Laser functionality of the kit enhances the weapon’s effectiveness against moving targets, maritime threats and other relocatable targets.
The weapon is guided through a tail control system and a GPS-aided INS.
The first laser sensor kits were delivered to the USAF in 2008, and were deployed in Iraq.
According to the manufacturer, JDAM can defeat high-value targets in any weather, day or night, with minimal risk to air crews. It has a range of more than 15 nautical miles.
The kit uses the 2,000lb BLU-109/MK 84, the 1,000lb BLU-110/MK 83 or the 500-pound BLU-111/MK 82 warhead as the payload.
Having started the production in 1998, Boeing have so far produced 260,000 JDAM kits for the US and 26 international militaries.
The new variants are laser JDAM and JDAM extended range that allow warfighters to prosecute moving targets and deploy the weapon from greater distances.
Work on the current contract will be performed at St. Louis, Missouri, and is expected to be complete by November 2017.
Image: The JDAM tailkits. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force.