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Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2004
Total Production: 8,800
Unitary Cost: USD$21,000
Also Known As: GBU-38(V)1
Origin: United States of America
Corporations: Boeing
Parent System: JDAM
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1999
Total Production: 250,000
Total Cost: USD$7.2 billion
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Description: The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) is a tail kit which converts free fall unguided bombs into precision-guided weapons. The tail section contains a GPS/INS guidance system that guides the JDAM bomb through the selected target. The JDAM bombs is available for all the fighting aircraft of the US inventory (B-1B, B-2A, B-52H, F-16C/D, F/A-18C/D, F/A-18E/F, F-15E, F/A-22, F-35, A-10A, S-3, F-117, AV-8B, and F-14A/B/D) as well as aircraft in development and foreign aircraft. The JDAM were used for the first time during operation Allied Force in 1999.

The JDAM bombs can be released in day/night and adverse weather at up to 15 miles away from the selected target. The Pentagon claims that JDAM bomb accuracy is about 13 meters CEP (Circular Error Probable), but according to Boeing sources JDAM accuracy is 9.6 meters CEP. Without the GPS guidance system using only the INS guidance system JDAM accuracy is 30 meters. The advanced capabilities of these smart bombs make possible to attack multiple targets simultaneously as it has been demonstrated during operational representative tests carried out by a B-2 Spirit dropping 16 JDAMs against several targets in a single mission.

The GBU-38 is a 500-pound (250 kilograms) class bomb designed to provide increased number of bombs, multiple target attack capability and reduced collateral damage likelihood to current and planned attack aircraft. For example, a single B-2 stealth bomber will be able to carry up to 80 GBU-38 bombs. The weapon is composed by the 500 pounds MK-82 free fall dumb bomb.

JDAMs were used in combat for the first time during operation Allied Force in 1999. The GBU-38 bomb was dropped in combat, for the first time, in the third quarter of 2004 during a combat mission at night in Iraq. The mission was conducted by two F-16C Fighting Falcons, which successfully dropped two GBU-38s on a target in central Iraq. Each aircraft released one GBU-38 on the target-building where a terrorist meeting was happening. The US Navy dropped its first GBU-38 through an F/A-18 from VFA 34 aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) in Iraq on October 29, 2004.

Boeing delivered the 100,000th JDAM tail kit on December 2, 2004, to the US military since production started in 1998. Initial production was 900 tail kits per month, but as of December 2004 and following 9/11 terrorist attacks, tail kit production boosted and stands at 3,000 units per month. These tail kits provide precision strike capability to Mk 80 series bombs through GPS-aided navigation. To date, the US Air Force has received more than 50,000 JDAMs, the US Navy roughly 37,000 units, and the remaining tail kits (10,000?) were produced for international customers.

Boeing was awarded JDAM Lot 9 production contract valued at $609 million on 31-March-2005. The US Air Force Lot 9 contract called for 30,072 JDAM tail kits with 60 percent of those kits to be produced for 500-pound bombs (GBU-38). As of March 2005, Boeing has produced more than 112,000 JDAM tail kits. In October 2005 Australia's Department of Defense awarded Boeing a contract to provide 500-2000 pounds JDAM weapon systems in support of the Royal Australian Air Force's F/A-18 combat aircraft fleet. In early March 2006 Boeing was awarded JDAM Lot 10 production contract for 10,000 JDAM tail kits for 500-, 1,000-, and 2,000-pound bombs owned by the US Air Force and the US Navy. This new contract was valued at $240 million and tail kits deliveries were slated for completion by February 2008.

GBU-38 JDAM Applications

Combat Aircraft A-10C Thunderbolt II B-1B Lancer B-2A Spirit B-52H Stratofortress F-15 Silent Eagle F-15E Strike Eagle F-15K Slam Eagle F-15SA F-15SG F-16C Block 50 F-16C Block 52 F-16C Block 72 F-16D Block 50 F-16D Block 52 F-16D Block 72 F-16E Desert Falcon F-16F Desert Falcon F-16I Soufa F-2 F/A-18E Super Hornet F/A-18F Super Hornet MQ-9A Reaper Predator C Avenger Reaper ER Defensive Weapons GBU-54 Laser JDAM

GBU-38 JDAM Specifications

CEP: 9.60 meter
Max Launch Altitude: 13,700 meter (44,948 foot)
Max Range: 24,000 meter (13.0 nautical mile)
Weight: 230 kilogram (507 pound)
CEP: Circular Error Probable
Meters (m)   Kilometers (km)   Nautic Miles (nm)   Inch (in)   Yard (yd)   Foot (ft)   Millimeter (mm)
Pound (lb)   Kilogram (kg)   kN (KiloNewton)   Ton (t)
Meters per Second (mps)   Kilometers per Hour (kph)   Knot (kt)   Miles per Hour (mph)
Liter (l)   Galon (gl)
Year (yr)   Minutes (min)   Second (sec)
Shaft-Horse-Power (shp)

GBU-38 JDAM News

There are 61 news between
31 Mar 2003 and 20 Aug 2019
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Tuesday, August 20, 2019FMS: Taiwan Requests Sale of 66 F-16C/D Block 70 Fighter Jets
Friday, June 14, 2019US Air Force Extends JDAM Bomb Tail Production Until 2025
Friday, May 3, 2019FMS: Bahrain Wants Weapons to Support F-16 Block 70 and F-16V Aircraft Fleet
Monday, April 1, 2019US Air Force Orders JDAM and Laser JDAM Bomb Kits Through 2029
Monday, March 25, 2019FMS: Morocco Seeks 25 F-16C/D Block 72 Multi-Role Fighters
Monday, November 19, 2018FMS: NATO Seeks 4,665 Precision Guided Munitions
Saturday, April 14, 2018France, UK and USA Launch 105 Cruise Missiles and GBU-38 Bombs against Syria
Wednesday, April 4, 2018FMS: Slovakia Requests Sale of 14 F-16 Block 70/72 V Aircraft
Friday, September 8, 2017FMS: Bahrain Requests Upgrade of F-16 Block 40 Aircraft to F-16V Configuration
Saturday, May 13, 2017Russian Air Force to Install SVN-24 Guidance System on Tu-22M3 Bombers

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