The US Air Force is determining whether to launch development of the Guided Direct Attack Penetrator (GDAP) weapon. It mates the J1000 blast fragmentation/penetrator warhead with a global positioning/inertial navigation system (GPS/INS), say service officials.

The 450kg (1,000lb) J1000 arms the in-development Lockheed Martin AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-off Missile. The Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), on the other hand, allows GPS/INS kits to turn Mk83 450kg and Mk84 900kg gravity bombs and BLU-109 450kg weapons into precision-guided weapons, says USAF JDAM programme manager Oscar Soler.

The Air Combat Command would like to field a GDAP, but no operational requirements document has been drafted, and funding has yet to be earmarked for its development and production.

Soler estimates it would take 12-24 months to qualify the GDAP. "It would be a fairly straightforward integration of the J1000 with the JDAM guidance kit. The GDAP would provide fighters with a 450kg-class weapon able to attack soft and deeply buried hard targets," he says.

Source: Flight International