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Australia takes delivery of range-extending wing kits for JDAM-equipped bombs 0405152

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World Aviation Defense & Security News - Australia
 
 
Australia takes delivery of range-extending wing kits for JDAM-equipped bomb
 
The Defence Project to enhance Royal Australian Air Force’s ‘smart bombs’ achieved a significant milestone with the acceptance of the first production set of Australian designed and manufactured range-extending wing kits, announced country's Defence Department on April 30. Known as the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), and manufactured by Boeing Defense, Space and Security, smart bombs provide an all-weather precision strike capability for RAAF.
     
The Defence Project to enhance Royal Australian Air Force’s ‘smart bombs’ achieved a significant milestone with the acceptance of the first production set of Australian designed and manufactured range-extending wing kits, announced country's Defence Department on April 30. Known as the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), and manufactured by Boeing Defense, Space and Security, smart bombs provide an all-weather precision strike capability for RAAF.
Boeing Defense's Joint Direct Attack Munition-Extended Range wing kit (JDAM-ER)
     
Speaking at the delivery of the first production set of range-extending wing kits, the Defence Materiel Organisation’s Head of Helicopter Systems and Guided Weapons Division Rear Admiral Tony Dalton said one aspect of the JDAM enhancement program had been to test, certify and manufacture a range extending wing kit for the smart bomb.

This successful project has taken an Australian idea and through an international collaboration, has turned it into a reality,” RADM Dalton said.

These range extending wing kits almost triple the baseline range of the current smart bombs.

These wing kits were developed by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and are being manufactured by Ferra Engineering under contract to Boeing,” he said.

Test and evaluation flight trials of the new extended range smart bomb were successfully conducted at Woomera in December last year, with the weapons landing within metres of their designated targets.

The first set of production wing kits was delivered by Boeing today at Ferra’s Brisbane-based production facility.

The JDAM-ER is the latest variant. Jointly developed by Boeing and Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organisation, it's intended for use on the RAAF’s 500-lb bombs and will is built in Australia. It differs from the standard JDAM in that it has wings that unfold in flight to triple the range from 15 mi (24 km) to over 45 mi (72 km). The modular nature of the kit means that it can be easily upgraded as technology improves and options such as improved laser sensors, GPS jamming immunity and an all-weather radar sensors can be added.

"The JDAM ER wing kit takes advantage of the conventional JDAM aircraft interface and Small Diameter Bomb glide technology," says Beth Kluba, vice president, Boeing Weapons and Missile Systems. "This keeps integration, development and sustainment costs low while bringing customers the range increase needed to neutralize current and future threats."