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RAAF and Boeing Successfully Test Extended Range JDAM ER

New wing kit extends range to more than 45 miles

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Boeing have successfully conducted a series of tests on a new wing kit for the 500-pound JDAM, according to a Boeing release.

The new wing kit, used with the weapon’s existing guidance kit, increases the 15-mile range of the freefall Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) to more than 45 miles in the Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM ER), according to the release.

“The extended range wing kit will allow the Australian Defense Force to employ JDAM more flexibly and safely in the target area,” said Rear Adm. Tony Dalton, responsible for the acquisition of guided weapons in Australia.

“The JDAM ER wing kit takes advantage of the conventional JDAM aircraft interface and Small Diameter Bomb glide technology,” said Beth Kluba, vice president, Boeing Weapons and Missile Systems. “This keeps integration, development and sustainment costs low while bringing customers the range increase needed to neutralize current and future threats.”

FA-18 pair of JDAM ERs

An F/A-18A Hornet, from the Aircraft Research and Development Unit, carries a pair of JDAM-ER guided weapons on the way to Woomera Test Range. Australian DOD photo by CPL David Gibbs

The winged JDAM ER was developed by Boeing and Australia’s Defense Science and Technology Organization. Tests were conducted over Australia’s Woomera Test Range, with RAAF F/A-18 “Classic” Hornets dropping JDAM ERs at altitudes from 10,000 feet up to 40,000 feet. The weapons successfully deployed their wings each time and guided to within yards of their targets, the release stated.

“The extended range wing kit will allow the Australian Defense Force to employ JDAM more flexibly and safely in the target area,” said Rear Adm. Tony Dalton, responsible for the acquisition of guided weapons in Australia. “Additionally, the program also stands to significantly benefit local Australian industry.”

Australia’s Ferra Engineering supplies major sub-assemblies for the modular wing kits to Boeing, which produces and integrates the JDAM ER wing kits under a contract awarded in 2011. After additional flight and certification testing, production and first deliveries to the RAAF are expected to begin this year.