Some opposition to supplying Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munition precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia is emerging in US Congress, which was formally notified of the proposed $123 million sale on 14 January.

Congress has 30 days to object to the sale, which includes 900 JDAM tail kits: 550 GBU-38s for 225kg (500lb) bombs, 250 GBU-31s for 900kg bombs and 100 GBU-31s for BLU-109 900kg hardened penetrator bombs.

The US Department of Defense says the all-weather satellite/inertial-guided bombs will enable Royal Saudi Air Force Boeing F-15S Strike Eagles "to participate to a greater degree in coalition operations".

Israel initially objected to the sale, arguing that it would erode its military superiority in the region, but local reports say the USA has agreed in principle to provide Tel Aviv with more-advanced JDAMs.

Boeing is producing a Laser JDAM variant, which adds a laser seeker for terminal guidance, increasing the weapon's accuracy and flexibility and providing a capability to attack moving targets.

The company has also developed an integrated GPS anti-jam system for the JDAM, designed to reduce the effect of satellite-signal jamming, deliveries of which are expected to begin this year.

Source: Flight International