Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Boeinghas received a $45 million contract modification for technical services related to the Joint Direct Attack Munition, a kit that allows for bombs to be upgraded with precision guidance systems.
Boeing will provide JDAM studies and analysis, upgrades and other services under the modification, announced Wednesday by the Department of Defense. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo., and is expected to be completed by March 2019.
The JDAM system is an economical one compared to expensive strike weapons like cruise missiles and laser-guided bombs. The kit takes a dumb bomb and bolts a GPS-guided targeting package onto it at relatively low cost.
The JDAM is a guided air-to-surface weapon using either the 2000 lb BLU-109 penetrator for hardened targets, the 2000-pound MK 84/BLU-117 high explosive warhead, the 1,000-pound MK 83/BLU-110, or the 500-pound MK 82/BLU-111.
The JDAM uses a GPS and Inertial Navigation System combined with tail fins for guidance. Target coordinates can be pre-loaded before takeoff, manually before weapon launch and automatically through aircraft targeting systems.
When dropped from the aircraft, the JDAM is guided to a target autonomously. When properly deployed in it's most accurate fashion -- when GPS data is available -- the JDAM can land within 40 feet of its target.