The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] received a $126 million contract from the U.S. Air Force on Nov. 30 for approximately 5,000 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) tail kits. Deliveries will begin in June 2013 and continue through May 2014.
This is Boeing's third major U.S. Air Force contract within a year for conventional JDAM kits. Boeing received an $88 million contract for nearly 3,500 kits in January 2011 and a $92 million contract for an additional 4,000 kits in March.
"After more than a decade of protecting U.S. warfighters and their allies across the globe, we are proud that JDAMs have continued to be their weapon of choice," said Debbie Rub, Boeing vice president and general manager, Missiles & Unmanned Airborne Systems. "Our innovative team continues to quickly meet our customers' ever-evolving needs with unprecedented accuracy and affordable new add-ons such as the laser sensor."
Boeing completed the development and testing cycle for its Laser JDAM less than 17 months after it was identified as an urgent operational need in early 2007. The company delivered the first production laser sensor kits to the U.S. Air Force in May 2008 and to the U.S. Navy in October 2008. Laser JDAM was successfully employed by the Air Force in combat in Iraq in August 2008.
In February 2010, the Navy selected Laser JDAM to satisfy its direct-attack moving target capability (DAMTC) mission requirement. Naval Air Systems Command awarded an $8 million contract to Boeing in March 2011 for low-rate initial production of 700 laser sensor kits for the DAMTC program. A full-rate production contract for Laser JDAM sensors is expected in early 2012.
"Laser JDAM has been used in combat almost every day by the U.S. Navy and Air Force," said Kristin Robertson, Boeing Direct Attack Weapons director. "It has been incredibly effective in attacking important moving targets accurately and reliably, with minimal collateral damage. Adding the laser sensor to the conventional JDAM kit is an affordable option that's easy for ordnance crews to install and very straightforward for pilots already familiar with JDAM."
JDAM is a low-cost guidance kit that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into near precision-guided weapons. Boeing intentionally designed its JDAM kit to be modular, allowing for the product to mature with a variety of technological upgrades such as wing kits that triple its range, improved immunity to GPS jamming and an all-weather radar sensor.
Since starting JDAM production in 1998, Boeing has built more than 230,000 JDAM tail kits in its St. Charles, Mo., facility for use by 26 international militaries.
Source: The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA)
Date: Jan 23, 2012