CANBERRA, Australia, March 11 (UPI) -- Australia's Ferra Engineering Pty. Ltd. has been picked by Boeing to manufacture extended range wing kits for Joint Direct Attack Munitions.
The new extended range kits, destined for the Australian air force, will be tested this year and followed by initial production orders.
"Ferra Engineering is well-recognized across industry and by government as a leader in its field," said Australian Minister for Defense Materiel Mike Kelly. "In 2011 they received Boeing's International Supplier of the Year award from a supply base of over 13,500 suppliers."
JDAM is a bolt-on kit featuring an integrated inertial guidance system and GPS receiver. It turns a free fall, or "dumb, bomb, into a precision guided weapon.
Development of the new extended JDAM wing kit was an Australian initiative and is based on the "Kerkanya" glide technology initially developed by Australia's Defense Science and Technology Organization.
"The wing kit will almost triple the weapon's current range, making the JDAM-ER a very cost effective weapon," Kelly said.
Boeing Defense Space and Security, the original manufacturer of JDAM, was selected by the Australian government to develop the ER version, which will be used on Australian air force F/A-18s.