Boeing and the US Air Force have tested the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) kit on a 227kg (500lb) Mk82 bomb in a manufacturer-funded development and flight test programme. The weapon is a candidate for a future US miniaturised munition and for foreign military sales.

The weapon was launched from 20,000ft (6,100m) at a range of 8km (4nm), connecting within 3m (10ft) of its target. The JDAM kit for the Mk82 uses the same components as for the 450kg Mk83 and 900kg Mk84 kits already in service. The test was the first JDAM release from a Boeing F-15E.

Future product improvements include a range extension from about 28km to over 56km, using the Alenia Marconi Systems Diamond Back wing kit, to be demonstrated with a Mk84 bomb in September. Other improvements could include a low-cost terminal seeker and a global positioning system anti-jam capability.

A Mk82/JDAM could provide the US military with a miniaturised munition capability. The USAF will decide later this year whether to launch a competitive joint services development programme in fiscal year 2002, with the aim of fielding it as early as FY2007.

Source: Flight International