BY JOHN KELLER
PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md.-Smart munitions experts at the Boeing Co. Defense, Space & Security segment in St. Louis are continuing their efforts to supply the U.S. Navy with laser-guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions-better-known as Laser JDAMs-to satisfy the Navy's need for a direct-attack moving target capability weapon.
Boeing won an $8 million contract from Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., to supply 700 low-rate initial production Laser JDAMs as direct-attack moving target capability weapons, as well as first-article testing.
Boeing won an $11.4 million Navy contract last year for 23 Laser JDAMs to meet Navy direct-attack moving target capability weapon requirements.
The latest contract is Boeing's first major production order for Laser JDAMs intended for the Navy's direct-attack moving target capability weapon program. Should the Navy choose to exercise all options, Boeing officials estimate deliveries could reach 11,000 units with a total contract value of more than $91 million.
|The Boeing Laser JDAM smart munition, shown above, will fulfill the Navy's requirement for a direct-attack moving target capability weapon.|
Laser JDAMs are already employed in the Navy's weapons arsenal. Adding direct-attack moving target capability to Laser JDAMs will improve the smart munitions' moving and maneuvering capability beyond current Laser JDAM capabilities, Boeing officials say.
The new direct-attack moving target capability weapons capability for Laser JDAMs will ensure the Navy's ability to combat stationary, fast-moving, or maneuvering land targets by combining a precision laser seeker to acquire and track laser-targeted signals and the JDAM guidance tail kit, company officials say.
Boeing engineers will do the work on the new contract in St. Charles, Mo. The contract work is expected to be completed by March 2012.