Boeing to build laser JDAM smart munitions guidance kits in $357.9 million Navy contract

PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md., 29 Jan. 2016. Smart munitions experts at the Boeing Co. are building modification kits to enable the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) to attack moving targets by homing in on laser beams.

Boeing to build laser JDAM smart munitions guidance kits in $357.9 million Navy contract
Boeing to build laser JDAM smart munitions guidance kits in $357.9 million Navy contract
PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md., 29 Jan. 2016.Smart munitions experts at the Boeing Co. are building modification kits to enable the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) to attack moving targets by homing in on laser beams.

Officials of the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., have announced a $357.9 million contract to the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in St. Louis for full-rate production lots 4 to 8 of the DSU-38 A/B Precision Laser Guided Sets (PLGSs).

The PLGS works with the KMU-572 guidance set to create the Laser JDAM smart bomb. The PLGS consists of the DSU-38 A/B laser seeker and a wire harness fixed under the bomb body to connect the laser seeker with the tail kit, which controls the bomb in flight.

Laser JDAM can attack fixed targets using GPS satellite navigation alone if laser guidance is not available, or can attack moving targets by homing in on the laser beam from a separate laser designator aboard aircraft or on the ground.

Related: The future of precision-guided munitions

The contract, announced on 28 Dec., is for the Navy, U.S. Air Force, and foreign military sales customers including the governments of the United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Turkey, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia.

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JDAM is a guidance kit that converts unguided bombs to all-weather smart munitions. The precision-guided glide bombs use guidance from an integrated inertial guidance system coupled to a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, giving them a range of as far as 15 nautical miles. JDAM-equipped bombs range from 500 pounds to 2,000 pounds.

The JDAM guidance systems are bolt-on guidance packages that convert unguided gravity bombs into precision-guided munitions. The key components are tail section with aerodynamic control surfaces, a strake kit, and a combined inertial guidance system and GPS guidance control unit. Laser JDAM also includes the laser-guidance package.

The Laser JDAM's Precision Laser Guided Sets represent a cooperative development between Boeing Defense, Space and Security and Elbit Systems Ltd. in Haifa, Israel.

Related: Smart munitions to track and kill sources of RF jamming

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.

On this contract Boeing will do the work in Fort Worth, Texas; Cincinnati; St. Louis; Odessa, Mo.; Simpsonville, S.C.; Minneapolis; Danville, Va.; Georgetown, Texas; and Cleveland, and should be finished by December 2021.

For more information contact Boeing Defense, Space & Security online at www.boeing.com/defense, or Naval Air Systems Command at www.navair.navy.mil.

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