Boeing received a $12.5 million contract from U.S. Naval Air Systems Command March 12 for 1,116 Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition sensors.
This is NAVAIR’s third Low Rate Initial Production order for its Direct Attack Moving Target Capability.
It follows an $8.3 million NAVAIR order for 700 laser sensors on Jan. 31 that allows the U.S. Air Force to maintain its Laser JDAM combat inventory levels.
Deliveries for both laser sensor contracts will begin in April and continue through February 2013.
“The Boeing JDAM family of weapons has been used by war fighters and their allies around the globe for more than a decade,” said Debbie Rub, Boeing vice president and general manager, Missiles and Unmanned Airborne Systems. “The advanced capability of Laser JDAM offers our customers unparalleled accuracy and flexibility against a wider range of emerging threats on today’s battlefields.”
JDAM is a low-cost guidance kit that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into near precision-guided weapons. Laser JDAMs have added the capability to prosecute moving targets, maritime threats and other relocatable targets of opportunity. Boeing intentionally designed its JDAM kit to be modular so that the product can mature with a variety of other technological upgrades, such as wing kits that triple its range, improved immunity to GPS jamming, and an all-weather radar sensor.
“Laser JDAMs are being used more and more by the U.S. Navy and Air Force,” said Kristin Robertson, director, Boeing Direct Attack Weapons. “The laser variant has been incredibly effective in attacking moving targets accurately and reliably, with minimal collateral damage. Adding the laser sensor to a conventional JDAM kit is an affordable option that’s easy for ordnance crews to install and very straightforward for pilots already familiar with JDAM.”
Boeing completed the development and testing cycle for its Laser JDAM less than 17 months after it was identified as an urgent operational need in early 2007. The company delivered the first production laser sensor kits to the U.S. Air Force in May 2008 and to the U.S. Navy in October 2008. Laser JDAM was successfully employed by the Air Force in combat in Iraq in August 2008. NAVAIR’s first Low Rate Initial Production order under DAMTC was a March 2011 contract for 700 Laser JDAM kits.
Since starting JDAM production in 1998, Boeing has built more than 230,000 JDAM tail kits in its St. Charles, Mo., facility on time and at cost for use by the U.S. Department of Defense and 26 international militaries.