Aerial Warfare

Boeing and Ferra Expand Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM ER) Partnership

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Boeing and Ferra Expand Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM ER) Partnership

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Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM ER)
Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM ER)

Boeing and Australia industry partner Ferra Engineering signed a Memorandum of Understanding to continue production of Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM ER) wing kits. The agreement also includes the intent to explore applications for Powered JDAM — a long-range, low-cost and mass-producible JDAM derivative capable of travelling upwards of 300 nautical miles. Brisbane-based Ferra is Boeing’s global supplier of the 500-pound JDAM ER wing kits. Under the memorandum, the partnership will be extended through 2028. The partnership aligns with the Australian Defence Force’s commitment to enhance sovereign weapons capability under the Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) Enterprise and aligns with the AUKUS security partnership goal of advancing trilateral defence capabilities.

“The RAAF was Boeing’s first JDAM ER customer and we have partnered with Boeing for 12 years to produce this critical global defence capability. This assures our production pipeline and paves the way for continued innovation, such as Powered JDAM. The expanded partnership further strengthens Australian industry’s capacity to contribute to the future needs of the Australian Defence Force and support its priorities to deter aggression and defend our country and our allies in the rapidly evolving threat environment,” said Aaron Thompson, managing director of Ferra Engineering. “.”

“These wing kits developed by Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group and produced for Boeing by Ferra in collaboration with U.S partners are a success story for Australian industry. Our participation in Defence’s Global Supply Chain (GSC) Program helped enable the partnership on JDAM ER wing kits and now opportunities for Powered JDAM. Powered JDAM will exponentially increase the effective range of the munition, and alongside the JDAM ER, will effectively and affordably meet a variety of defence needs around the world,” said Bob Ciesla, vice president of Boeing Precision Engagement Systems. “.”

The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) is a guidance kit that converts unguided bombs, or “dumb bombs”, into all-weather precision-guided munitions. JDAM-equipped bombs are guided by an integrated inertial guidance system coupled to a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver. JDAM-equipped bombs range from 500 to 2,000 pounds (230 to 910 kg). The JDAM’s guidance system was jointly developed by the United States Air Force and United States Navy, hence the “joint” in JDAM. The JDAM ER kits triple the effective range of the standard JDAM — a low-cost option to convert the existing munitions into guided smart munitions. In 2006, the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation in conjunction with Boeing Australia successfully tested extended range 500 lb (230 kg) JDAM variants at Woomera Test Range.The wing kits of Australia’s JDAM-ER weapons will be built by Ferra Engineering. First tests were to be conducted in 2013 with production orders in 2015.

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