Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: JDAM HART
Origin: United States of America
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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.
Under DAMASK (Direct Attack Munition Affordable SeeKer) program the US military are trying to add an image seeker to the JDAM bomb achieving improved accuracy. DAMASK objective is to provide a CEP accuracy to JDAM about 3 meters. With such accuracy the JDAM bomb will be able to completely replace current laser guided bombs from the US inventory. The DAMASK seeker is valued at approximately $10,000-12,000 per unit. The US Navy expects to procure up to 6,000 JDAM HART (Hornet Real-Time Targeting) bombs through 2011.
The JDAM bomb nose-mounted DAMASK seeker will take an image from IR or visual sensors, synthetic aperture radar, satellite photograph or other source and will use it as a target template to self-guidance through the target. The target template can be loaded into DAMASK seeker before and during the flight from many different sources achieving an unprecedented operational flexibility. The uncooled IR DAMASK seeker activates itself and contributes to correct the bomb's trajectory when the target is at 2,000 meters away.
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