Boeing Testing Laser JDAM


Released on Thursday, February 3, 2005
United States of America
F-16C Block 50
GBU-38 JDAM
GBU-54 Laser JDAM
GPS - Global Positioning System
INS - Inertial Navigation System
JDAM - Joint Direct Attack Munition
The Boeing company has released that it is conducting a series of flight tests involving a new laser-guided JDAM bomb variant at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The new weapon is based on 500-pound (250 kilograms) GBU-38 JDAM bomb. This weapon was introduced recently during military operations in Iraq and provides effective engagement capability with reduced collateral damage to military customers.

During the first test on January 20, a US Air Force F-16 aircraft dropped the modified GBU-38 weapon from 25,000-ft (7,600+ kilometers) of altitude and approximately six miles (11 kilometers) from its target. The weapon detected the target, which was being illuminated by a ground-based laser designator, and then executed a direct hit within five feet (1.5 meters) of the designated aimpoint.

The benefit of hybrid laser/JDAM weapons is that no software modification is due on the aircraft's software to install the new item. That also brings additional benefit to the US military attack aircraft fleet which already operates JDAM weapons. JDAM relies on INS/GPS navigation system to reach a target day/night and all-weather conditions, while laser-guided bombs require clear-weather to perform correctly. Boeing expects to test the laser/JDAM weapon against both moving and stationary targets in follow-on tests.

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