Bringing People Together

Frontiers February 2013 Issue

PHOTOS (Clockwise from top far left): Thomas Reynoso attaches wings to a Small Diameter Bomb warhead; Shirley McCollum assembles a guidance control unit on a JDAM tail kit; Willie Austin applies decals on an assembled Small Diameter Bomb; Russell Evans (below right) installs explosive lines in a capsule used to launch a Harpoon from a submarine. RON BOOKOUT/BOEING The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook launches a Harpoon anti-ship missile during an exercise. U.S. NAVY PHOTO ILLUSTRATION (Below left): The extended-range JDAM will have a wing kit that will nearly triple its range. BOEING and more than 10,000 Small Diameter Bombs have been delivered on time and at cost because of the efficiency of using one production line for two programs. “The idea to merge the JDAM and Small Diameter Bomb production lines came directly from our employees because they understood firsthand how much more efficient and economical it would be,” said John Caré, senior production manager for Weapons & Missile Systems. Caré noted as few as 20 employees are needed to build both—at very high production rates. “People are always amazed when they learn that such a small team can produce so many high-quality products each day and that there is a high degree of flexibility among team members,” he said. “Everyone can do every job on the production line. What one person assembles today might be the one they test tomorrow. So, there’s a healthy respect for the worker ahead of and behind you, which results in a great pride for the end product.” That production quality and efficiency, according to employees, comes with the knowledge of just how important what they do is—especially for the warfighter. “We are always looking for creative ways to improve efficiency and productivity, but most of all, quality,” said Direct Attack munitions mechanic Sean Richardson. “This isn’t just a job to us. Every day we realize lives are at stake. Realizing that men and women in harm’s way depend on us to get it right is a great motivator.” n garrett.d.kasper@boeing.com Making smart bombs smarter Boeing’s Weapons & Missile Systems program in St. Charles changed warfare by taking unguided “dumb bombs” and converting them into precision guided munitions. With the addition of a GPS sensor and tail kit, the Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM, ushered in the “smart bomb.” It was just the beginning. When warfighters needed a smart bomb that could hit a moving target, such as a vehicle, Boeing developed the laser-guided JDAM. Boeing then transferred some of that same technology and innovation to develop the laser-guided Small Diameter Bomb. What’s next? A wing kit will extend the range of the JDAM to more than 40 miles (65 kilometers). Also in development is a jet-powered JDAM for significantly longer range. It will incorporate a small turbine engine between the warhead and JDAM tail kit. “Everyone here is dedicated to providing a highly capable product while remaining affordable,” said munition mechanic Josh Stonebraker. “We’re making smart bombs smarter. It has our customers eager to see what we have in store for Boeing’s next generation of weapons systems.” – Garrett Kasper BOEING FRONTIERS / FEBRUARY 2013 17


Frontiers February 2013 Issue
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