April 2 (UPI) -- Boeing has been awarded a $250 million, 10-year contract for Joint Direct Attack Munition guidance kit services for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and allies.
Boeing's Defense Space and Security division will build the JDAM and supply Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition technical services, aircraft integration and sustainment, the Defense Department announced Monday.
This contract provides for JDAM/LJDAM-specific activities, including but not limited to technical services, aircraft integration and sustainment.
Besides the United States, more than two dozens countries employ JDAM, according to Boeing.
As a low-cost guidance kit, the JDAM converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into accurately guided "smart" weapons. The kit includes a new tail section with an inertial navigation system/global positioning system, and body plates for additional stability and lift.
The work will be performed at the company's headquarters in Missouri and is expected to be complete by March 2029.
Fifty-two percent of the contract involves sales to the U.S. government and 48 percent involves foreign military sales to various countries.
Air Force and Navy 2019 procurement and ammunition funds in the amount of $12.8 million are being obligated on the first task order at the time of award.
Boeing has manufactured more than 260,000 JDAM guidance kits at its production facility in St. Charles, Mo., since 1998, according to the company. It was first used during Operation Allied Force in the Balkans in 1999.
McDonnell Douglas Corp., which was acquired by Boeing, developed the JDAM kits under a contract first awarded in 1988.
The bombs weigh 552 to 2,139 pounds, and are 17 inches to 25.3 inches in diameter.
In any weather conditions, bombs can be accurately delivered at a great distance from the target. The navigation system is used to update the weapon to impact.
Laser JDAM is operational on U.S. Air Force F-15Es and F-16s, and U.S. Navy F/A-18s and A/V-8Bs.
Boeing is working on the new tail kit assembly for the B61-12, part of modernizing the nuclear gravity bomb. The company has been working on design, development and qualification of the tail kit since 2012, with the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center approving the kit's transition into production in December.