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Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM)

 
Description
The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) is a guidance kit that converts existing unguided bombs into precision-guided "smart" munitions. The tail section contains an inertial navigational system (INS) and a global positioning system (GPS). JDAM improves the accuracy of unguided bombs in any weather condition. It can be employed from every Navy fighter-attack aircraft such as the AV-8B, F/A-18 and F-14.
 
Features
JDAM is a guided air-to-surface weapon using either the 2000 lb BLU-109 hard-target-penetrator, the 2000-pound MK 84/BLU-117, the 1,000-pound MK 83/BLU-110, or the 500-pound MK 82/BLU-111 warheads as the payload. JDAM allows aircraft to employ weapons accurately against targets on the ground. The JDAM uses a Global Positioning System (GPS)-aided Inertial Navigation System (INS) combined with a tail control system for guidance. Target coordinates can be loaded into the aircraft before takeoff, manually before weapon release, and automatically entered through target designation with onboard aircraft sensors. This information is then is passed down from the aircraft to the weapon.

Once released from the aircraft, the JDAM navigates to the target autonomously. In its most accurate mode, when GPS data is available, the JDAM system will have an error of less than 13 meters (about 40 feet).

JDAM enables multiple weapons to be directed against single or multiple targets on a single pass.
 
Background
JDAM performance was demonstrated operationally during Operation Allied Force in 1999 during which 650 JDAMs were dropped and in Operations Southern Watch and Enduring Freedom; and in Operation Iraqi Freedom, with expenditures of more than 6,000 JDAMs against enemy targets. Additionally, tests included a spectacular display of B-2/JDAM conventional firepower in the release of 80 JDAMs from a B-2 on a single pass against multiple targets. JDAM provides the Navy with an all weather,affordable, air-to-surface weapons with delivery accuracy exceeding requirements. The Navy received its first JDAM kits in May 1999.
 
Point Of Contact
Public Affairs Office
Naval Air Systems Command, PEO (W)
Patuxent River, Maryland 20670-1547
 
General Characteristics
Primary Function: Guided air-to-surface weapon.
Contractor: Boeing Corporation.
Unit Cost: Approximately $20,000.
Length: (JDAM and warhead) GBU-31 (v) 2/B: 152.7 inches (387.9 centimeters); GBU-31 (v) 4/B: 148.6 inches (377.4 centimeters); GBU-32 (v) 2/B: 119.5 inches (303.5 centimeters); GBU-38/B: 92.64 inches.
Wingspan: GBU-31: 25 inches (63.5 centimeters); GBU-32: 19.6 ins. (49.8 centimeters).
Weight: (JDAM and warhead) GBU-31 (v) 2/B: 2,036 pounds (925.4 kilograms); GBU-31 (v) 4/B: 2,115 pounds (961.4 kilograms); GBU-32 (v) 2/B: 1,013 pounds (460.5 kilograms); GBU-38/B: 590 pounds.
Ceiling: 45,000-plus feet (13,677 meters).
Range: Up to 15 miles (24 kilometers).
Guidance System: Global Positioning System (GPS)-aided Inertial Navigation System (INS).
 
Last Update: 20 February 2009
 
 
Photo: JDAMs loaded onto an aircraft elevator aboard USS Harry S. Truman