Boeing Delivers 1st Laser JDAMs
The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has delivered the first Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (LJDAM) kits to the U.S. Air Force. The Precision Laser Guidance Set (PLGS) kits are being produced to satisfy the Air Force and Navy’s urgent need for engagement of fast-moving land targets.
The initial $28 million LJDAM contract, awarded in May 2007, will add 600 laser seekers to the services’ existing inventory of 500-pound bombs. The First Article Acceptance Testing (FAAT) of production units was completed in March. The Air Force performed the FAAT guided flight tests at the China Lake, Calif., test range with drops from F-15E and F-16 aircraft. The tests demonstrated LJDAM’s ability to engage and destroy targets moving at up to 70 miles per hour. The Navy also initiated its LJDAM guided flight test program in March with multiple drops from an AV-8B against moving targets. Additional Navy testing is planned from an F/A-18. LJDAM is expected to be operational this year with both the Air Force and Navy. Boeing will deliver the contracted kits by June 2009.
“Boeing’s early investment in Laser JDAM technology laid the foundation for meeting this urgent operational need to intercept high-speed targets. Because of Boeing’s strong belief in Laser JDAM, we were able to deliver a capability to the warfighter in 11 months,” said Lynda Rutledge, director of 708th Armament Systems Group at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
“This on-schedule transition to production and overall fielding effort has been a great team effort between Boeing, our customer and our suppliers,” said Dan Jaspering, Boeing Direct Attack program manager. “We are truly excited to be getting this urgently needed capability to the warfighters.”
The Laser JDAM PLGS is a modular laser sensor kit that is easily installed onto existing JDAM weapons in the field. The laser sensor supplier to Boeing is EFW Inc., based in Fort Worth, Texas. The laser sensor further enhances the highly capable Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System JDAM. LJDAM provides low-cost flexibility to engage fast-moving and stationary targets of opportunity with a single weapon.
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