ST. LOUIS, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- A new version of the Joint Direct Attack Munition kit being developed for the Australian air force has completed wind tunnel testing.
Boeing said the JDAM Extended Range kit, with modular add-on wings that unfold in flight, will enable a glide range of 40 miles for a 500-pound bomb -- triple the current range with a JDAM kit.
The JDAM-ER is being developed in partnership with the Australian government under a 2011 contract and will be produced in Australia.
"Boeing and our Australian partners have worked closely together to employ affordable technology and the leanest manufacturing processes to cost-effectively enhance JDAM's capabilities," said Debbie Rub, Boeing vice president and general manager for Missiles and Unmanned Airborne Systems.
"The JDAM-ER effectively meets the needs of the Commonwealth (of Australia) by providing a greater stand-off capability and making it safer for pilots to prosecute their missions on today's ever-changing battlefields."
Boeing said the JDAM-ER, first demonstrated in 2008, can also be coupled with other modular enhancements, including laser sensors.
Initial deliveries of the kits are expected to begin in early 2015.
JDAM converts free-fall bombs into a more precisely guided weapon.