JDAM Guidance System

JDAM-equipped bombsThe Joint Direct Attack Munition -- or JDAM -- is a low-cost guidance kit that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into accurately guided "smart" weapons. The JDAM kit consists of a new tail section that contains an Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System. McDonnell Douglas developed the JDAM kits under a contract first awarded in 1988.

In actual use these weapons have proved to be very accurate and highly reliable. They can be accurately delivered in virtually any weather conditions. JDAM can be launched miles from the target and safely rely on the navigation system to update the weapon all the way to impact.

The U.S. Department of Defense, which began purchasing kits in 1998, plans to buy JDAM kits for the U.S. Air Force and Navy through 2008 or longer. Licenses for export of JDAM have been approved. Since 1998, Boeing's Weapons Enterprise Capability Center has produced more than 112,000 JDAM tail kits.

JDAM has significant growth potential as a low-cost family of weapons. Anticipated activities include integrating the weapon on additional aircraft, extending the range, evolving smaller weapons, improving on high accuracy already demonstrated, and adding low-cost terminal guidance.

JDAM home page

First contract: 1988
Model number: JDAM
Function: Common, low-cost guidance control unit for MK-83/BLU-110, MK-84 and BLU-109
Airframe: Maneuverable with full jettison and release envelope