March 20, 2007 Two Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) weapons, each equipped with an Australian-designed and -built modular wing kit, have been successfully released from a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18 Hornet during recent flight tests. Flying at 20,000 feet over the Woomera Prohibited Area in South Australia, a RAAF F/A-18 released the 500-pound Mk-82 JDAM Extended Range (ER) weapons and scored a direct hit on their respective targets. The ER wing kit provides more than three times the range of a baseline JDAM and is designed to be installed in the field to existing JDAM weapons. The affordable ER wing kit enhances the already highly capable JDAM into one of the most mission flexible, low-cost weapons available in the world today.
"We have demonstrated the impressive capability enhancement that an affordable modular wing kit can bring to JDAM weapons, while simultaneously setting the engineering foundation that will facilitate the fielding of an Australian-designed wing kit to JDAM users around the globe," said Bart Volpe, Boeing JDAM International program manager.
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The AIR 5425 JDAM ER test program is a joint effort with the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation, Hawker de Havilland Aerospace Pty. Ltd., and Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. The test team conducted the technology demonstration under the Australian Capability Technology Demonstrator Program, managed by the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO).
The JDAM ER vehicle utilizes a modular wing kit developed by Hawker de Havilland, based on technology licensed by DSTO. The ER wing kit provides more than three times the range of a baseline JDAM and is designed to be installed in the field to existing JDAM weapons. The affordable ER wing kit enhances the already highly capable JDAM into one of the most mission flexible, low-cost weapons available in the world today.
Boeing is working actively with the Commonwealth to develop a roadmap for fielding a JDAM wing kit capability not only for the RAAF, but for other JDAM users worldwide. Many of Boeing's 16 international JDAM customers are showing interest in procuring an extended range capability for their existing JDAM assets.