Boeing Builds 250,000th JDAM Bomb-Guidance Kit

JDAM kits on the ground before being assembled onto bombs. (Photo by Marcus Weisgerber)

Boeing announced today that it has built the 250,000th Joint Direct Attack Munition bomb guidance kit.

The JDAM, as it is better known, is a GPS-guided tail kit assembly (pictured above) that is attached to a bomb giving it “near-precision” accuracy.

The weapon has been heavily used during US-led operations in Afghanistan (and Iraq) and has made countless editors excited to write headlines, such as “Making Dumb Bombs Smart.”

Since its inception in the late 1990s, JDAMs have been fitted on just about every DoD fixed-wing, strike aircraft. There are also long-range and laser-guided versions of the weapon.

I snapped the picture above in November 2007 while touring an Air Force forward operating base in the Middle East. The weapons were likely loaded on a B-1B bomber soon after assembly.

Boeing makes more than 40 JDAM kits each day at a facility  in St. Charles, Mo. The baseline version has a range of more than 15 nautical miles and can be launched in all types of weather, day or night.

“The JDAM remains a valuable asset to warfighters around the world,” US Air Force Maj. Gen. Scott Jansson, program executive officer for weapons and director of the Armament Directorate at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, said in an Aug. 20 Boeing statement. “From the onset of the program, we saw the worth JDAM added to our mission portfolio, and we are still seeing the dividends through its advanced technologies.”

Marcus Weisgerber
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Marcus Weisgerber

Senior Pentagon Correspondent at Defense News
I write about broad-ranging policy, acquisition and budget issues affecting the US military.
Marcus Weisgerber
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