Known as the “Warfighter’s Weapon of Choice,” the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) is a low-cost guidance kit produced by Boeing that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into accurately guided, near-precision “smart” weapons. The JDAM kit consists of a tail section that contains a Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System and body strakes for additional stability and lift.
Because of its modular design, the JDAM family of weapons includes affordable add-on options to increase the warfighter’s flexibility and reach. A Laser JDAM sensor allows JDAM precise prosecution of moving, relocatable and maritime targets. JDAM Extended Range (JDAM ER) incorporates a low-cost wing set to extend JDAM’s standoff range to greater than 40 miles.
The full-scale production decision for JDAM was made by the U.S. Department of Defense in March 2001. On average, more than 700 JDAMs are delivered every month. In November 2004, Boeing delivered the 100,000th JDAM, and in September 2008 the 200,000th JDAM was delivered. In 2011, the U.S. Air Force announced contract awards totaling $180 million for nearly 7,500 Lot 15 JDAM tail kits.
Since JDAM production started in 1998, Boeing has built more than 238,000 tail kits – all of which have been delivered on time and at cost.
- When employed, these weapons have proven highly accurate and can be delivered in any flyable weather.
- JDAM can be launch from more than 15 miles from the target. Updates from GPS satellites help guide the weapon.
- Honeywell Inc., Rockwell Collins, HR Textron, Lockheed Martin Tactical Defense Systems, Lockely, Enser and Eagle-Picher, and Stremel all contribute to JDAM production.