A winged version of Boeing’s Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) that will triple the weapon’s glide range to more than 40 miles is a step closer to production after completing wind tunnel tests at a US facility in June, Boeing said in a statement.
Developed in partnership with the Commonwealth of Australia, the 500-pound JDAM Extended Range (JDAM-ER) features a modular add-on wing kit that will unfold in flight. The kit can also be coupled with other modular enhancements, such as laser sensors. The wings were first integrated with the Boeing JDAM during the Commonwealth’s Capability and Technology Demonstration program, which successfully completed flight tests in 2008.
Boeing will produce and integrate the JDAM-ER wing kits for the RAAF under a contract awarded in 2011. The kits will be built in Australia, with initial deliveries expected to begin in early 2015.
“Boeing and our Australian partners have worked closely together to employ affordable technology and the leanest manufacturing processes to cost-effectively enhance JDAM’s capabilities,” said Debbie Rub, Boeing vice president and general manager for Missiles and Unmanned Airborne Systems. “The JDAM-ER effectively meets the needs of the Commonwealth by providing a greater stand-off capability and making it safer for pilots to prosecute their missions on today’s ever-changing battlefields.”