Nov. 15 (UPI) -- The Air Force has awarded Kaman Precision Products $52 million for the Joint Programmable Fuzes for use on Joint Direct Attack Munition and general purpose air-dropped bombs.
The modification, announced Thursday by the Department of Defense, calls for the purchase of 15,000 fuzes being produced under the original contract, with the production run expected to last through June 2020.
Air Force fiscal 2016, 2017 and 2018 ammunition procurement funds of $52 million are being obligated at time of award, bringing the cumulative value of the contract to $225.4 million.
The DSU-33B/B JPF radar proximity fuse is designed to allow pilots to set the Height of Burst for JDAM's and unguided bombs. This allows the pilot to tailor the munition to the target, with air bursts for soft targets in the open to maximize fragmentation effects or direct impacts against hardened targets.
The JDAM uses a GPS and Inertial Navigation System and tail fins for guidance which are bolted onto conventional dumb bombs like the 500-pound MK 82/BLU-111. Target coordinates can be loaded before takeoff, manually before weapon launch and automatically through aircraft targeting systems.
When dropped from the aircraft, the JDAM is guided to its target autonomously, with the JPF setting it's detonation depending on the target type. The JDAM has become a standard weapon system across much of the world due to its ability to turn unguided bombs into precision strike weapons at relatively low cost and ease of bomb modification.