Boeing to provide Air Force with laser-guided JDAM smart munitions that add inertial and GPS guidance

May 29, 2024
JDAM uses guidance from an integrated inertial guidance system coupled to a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to give JDAM extended range.

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Smart munitions experts at the Boeing Co. are building kits to convert unguided bombs into all-weather smart munitions under terms of a $7.5 billion U.S. Air Force contract announced on Friday.

Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, are asking the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in St. Louis for the laser-guided Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM).

JDAM uses guidance from an integrated inertial guidance system coupled to a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to give JDAM smart munitions a range of as far as 15 nautical miles. JDAM-equipped bombs range from 500 pounds to 2,000 pounds.

The contract This contract provides for JDAM tail kits, spares, repairs, technical, and Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition sensor kits, which also enable the munition to attack moving targets by homing in on laser beams.

Related: Boeing to provide kits to enable laser-guided all-weather JDAM smart munitions to attack moving targets

The DSU-38 A/B Precision Laser Guided Sets (PLGSs) work 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.

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.

Related: Boeing gets order for more than 1,000 laser guidance kits for JDAM smart munition

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.

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 St. Louis, and should be finished by February 2030. For more information contact Boeing Defense, Space & Security online at, or the The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center-Hill Air Force Base at

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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