JDAM: A GPS-INS Add-on Adds Accuracy to Airstrikes
September 9/16: Boeing has been awarded a $10 million contract to integrate the 2,000 lb GBU-56(V)4/B dual-mode Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) on the F/A-18 Super Hornet. The deal covers the systems engineering and logistic support planning required for production acceptance testing and evaluation of the DSU-42/B precision laser guidance set and the KMU-558 series guidance set of the GBU-56(V)4/B PGM as well as integration for Navy and USMC F/A-18. GBU-56s are cleared for carriage on the Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16, F/A-18, McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier, Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, Rockwell B-1B Lancer, Boeing B-52H Stratofortress, Panavia Tornado, and Eurofighter Typhoon.
Precision bombing has been a significant military goal since the invention of the Norden bomb sight in the 1920s, but its application remained elusive. Over 30 years later, in Vietnam, the destruction of a single target could require 300 bombs, which meant sending an appropriate number of fighters or bombers into harm’s way to deliver them. Even the 1991 Desert Storm war with Iraq featured unguided munitions for the most part. The USAF some laser and TV-guided weapons like Paveway bombs and Maverick missiles, but they were very expensive, and only effective in good weather. If precision bombing was finally to become a reality throughout the Air Force, a new approach would be needed. The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) became that alternative, an engine of military transformation that was also a model of procurement transformation.
DID’s FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record. This DID FOCUS Article looks at the transformational history of the JDAM GPS-guided bomb program, the ongoing efforts to bring its capabilities up to and beyond the level of dual-mode guidance kits like Israel’s Spice and Raytheon’s Enhanced Paveway, and the contracts issued under the JDAM program since its inception.[updated]
JDAM: A Timely History of Transformation
JDAM: Program & Variants
JDAM: Contracts and Key Events
FY 2014 – 2015
FY 2002 – 2005
FY 1996 – 2001
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