Boeing is making progress on developing an extended range version of the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), company officials say.

The weapons recently completed initial wind-tunnel tests, says Kerry Bush, Boeing's JDAM programme manager. It will enter into preliminary design review this July.

"We expect to be in production with extended range in the 2014-2015 timeframe," he says.

The initial extended range variant is a 500lbs-class weapon, Bush says.

But the weapon is not a US Department of Defense programme, rather it is being co-developed with a US ally. Boeing is not able to disclose which nation is purchasing the weapon, but Australia has dabbled in designing such a JDAM wing-kit as back as in 2006.

Boeing says the addition of the wing-kit gives the weapon three times the range of a normal JDAM. Future developments might include a powered variant, Bush says. A powered version could have 10 times the range of a conventional JDAM.

Source: Flight International