A winged version of the Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) developed by the US airframer and Australia has completed windtunnel tests.

The JDAM-ER (extended-range) features a "modular, add-on wing kit", developed in Australia, that can triple the 226kg (500lb) weapon's glide range to over 64km (35nm), Boeing said in a statement.

The wings were first integrated with a JDAM in 2008, when releases were conducted using Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18C Hornet fighter aircraft.

 RAAF JDAM - Commonwealth of Australia

Commonwealth of Australia

"By successfully transitioning this technology from prototype to production, the Australian Defence Force will be able to further reduce the risk to its personnel on operations, allowing RAAF aircrew to engage their targets from beyond the range of enemy air defences," Jason Clare, Australia's minister for defence materiel, said in a statement.

"These enhancements will increase the ability of the RAAF to strike more targets in fewer sorties."

Boeing will build and integrate the wing kits in Australia, under a contract awarded in 2011. Initial deliveries are expected in early 2015.

The weapon is likely to equip legacy F/A-18Cs. The RAAF's F/A-18F Super Hornets are equipped with the Raytheon Joint Standoff Weapon for long-range strike missions.

Source: Flight International