Mk84 bomb fitted with JDAM
|Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM)|
|Primary Function:||GPS/INS smart tailkit that fits on general purpose unguided bombs|
|Length:||from 9 feet 11 inches to 12 feet 8 inches|
|Wingspan:||from 1 feet 7 inches to 2 feet 1 inches|
|Range:||Up to 15 miles|
The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) is a guidance tail kit that converts existing unguided free-fall bombss into accurate, adverse weather "smart" munitionss. With the addition of a new tail section that contains an inertial navigational system and a global positioning system guidance control unit, JDAM improves the accuracy of unguided, general purpose bombs in any weather condition. JDAM is a joint United States Air Force and United States Navy program.
JDAM is a guided air-to-surface weapon that uses either the 2,000-pound BLU-109/Mark 84 bomb or the 1,000-pound BLU-110/Mark 83 bomb warheads as the payload. JDAM enables employment of accurate air-to-surface weapons against high priority fixed and relocatable targets from fighter and bomber aircraft. Guidance is facilitated through a tail control system and a GPS-aided INS. The navigation system is initialized by transfer alignment from the aircraft that provides position and velocity vectors from the aircraft systems.
Once released from the aircraft, the JDAM autonomously navigates to the designated target coordinates. Target coordinates can be loaded into the aircraft before takeoff, manually altered by the aircrew before weapon release, and automatically entered through target designation with onboard aircraft sensors. In its most accurate mode, the JDAM system will provide a weapon circular error probable of 13 meters or less during free flight when GPS data is available. If GPS data is denied, the JDAM will achieve a 30-meter CEP or less for free flight times up to 100 seconds with a GPS quality handoff from the aircraft.
JDAM can be launched from very low to very high altitudes in a dive, toss and loft or in straight and level flight with an on-axis or off-axis delivery. JDAM enables multiple weapons to be directed against single or multiple targets on a single pass.
JDAM is currently compatible with B-1B Lancer, B-2A Spirit, B-52H Stratofortress, F-16C/D Falcon and F/A-18C/D Hornet aircraft. Follow-on integration efforts are currently underway or planned to evaluate compatibility with the A-10 "Warthog, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-22 Raptor, F-117 Nighthawk, AV-8B Harrier, F-14A/B/D Tomcat, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, S-3 Viking, and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Desert Storm highlighted a shortfall in air-to-surface weapon capability. Adverse weather conditions limited employment of precision guided munitions. Unguided weapon accuracy was also degraded when delivered from medium and high altitudes. Research and development of an"adverse weather precision guided munition" began in 1992. The first JDAMs were delivered in 1997 with operational testing conducted in 1998 and 1999. More than 450 JDAMs were dropped during testing, recording an unprecedented 95 percent system reliability while achieving a 9.6-meter accuracy rate. JDAM performance has been demonstrated in operationally representative tests including drops through clouds, rain and snow. These tests included a B-2 Spirit releasing 16 JDAMs on a single pass against multiple targets in two separate target areas.
JDAM and the B-2 made their combat debuts during Operation Allied Force. The B-2s, flying 30-hour, nonstop, roundtrip flights from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, delivered more than 600 JDAMs during Allied Force. This combination of stealth and accuracy has revolutionized air warfare. Growth of the JDAM family of weapons expanded to the 500-pound Mark 82 bomb version, which began development in late 1999. Also, the Navy is currently studying the effects of adding enhancements such as improved GPS accuracy, a precision seeker for terminal guidance and additional warheads.
On September 10, 2003, a B-2 Spirit bomber successfully released eighty (80) inert 500-pound JDAM munitions on a single sortie, demonstrating a saturation precision attack capability not thought possible in the early days of smart weapons.