PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md., 4 March 2013. The U.S. Navy is ordering more than a thousand laser guidance kits to enable the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) to destroy moving targets under terms of an $11.4 million contract announced late last week from the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md.
The Navy is awarding the electro-optics contract modification to the Boeing Co. Defense, Space & Security segment in St. Louis to exercise an option for the full rate production of 1,001 Precision Laser Guidance Sets (PLGS) for the U.S. Air Force. The Air Force and Navy procure JDAM together.
The JDAM is a guidance kit that converts unguided bombs into all-weather smart munitions with integrated inertial guidance systems coupled to a Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers.
The PLGS kit adds a laser seeker to the nose of a JDAM equipped bomb, which gives it the ability to engage moving targets with the aid of laser designators trained on the target from the air or from the ground.
The PLGS kit consists of a laser seeker and a wire harness fixed under the bomb body that connects the seeker with the JDAM's tail assembly that has control surfaces that steer the munition to its target. tailkit. The dual guidance system retains the ability to operate on GPS/INS alone if laser guidance is unavailable.
The JDAM has a range of more than 15 nautical miles, and its laser guidance kit has been in use since 2008. Boeing has been in full-rate production of the JDAM laser-guidance kits for the Navy since last year.
JDAM-equipped bombs range from 500 to 2,000 pounds. Aircraft able to carry the JDAM include the F-15E Strike Eagle; F-16C Fighting Falcon; CF-18 Hornet; F/A-18A+/C/D Hornet; F/A-18E/F Super Hornet; F-22 Raptor; F-35 Lightning II; MQ-9 Reaper; Mitsubishi F-2; Panavia Tornado; Mirage F-1; Eurofighter Typhoon; Saab JAS 39 Gripen; and A-29 Super Tucano.