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GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM)

The Joint Direct Attack Munition designated GBU-31 is a 2,000-pound class munition guided by an $18,000 tail kit.

JDAM is a family of guided air-to-surface weapons that is comprised of the GBU-31(V)2/B, GBU-31(V)4/B, GBU-32(V)2/B, and GBU-35(V)1/B for the United States Navy (USN) and United States Marine Corps (USMC). Navy and Marine JDAMs use the MK 84, BLU-109, MK 83, or the BLU-110 warheads, respectively, as the payload. Other JDAM configurations exist for the United States Air Force (USAF).

Developmental Test (DT) objectives of the GBU-31(V)2/B and GBU-31(V)4/B have been met, with the exception of GBU-31(V)4/B compatibility with the FMU-152 JPF. Post MS III GBU-31(V)2/B and GBU-31(V)4/B DT objectives will involve resolution of the GBU-31(V)4/B FMU-152 JPF incompatibility, Lot Acceptance Test (LAT)/Weapon System Evaluation Program (WSEP) and technology insertion. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) was achieved with these JDAM configurations in May 2001.

The F/A-18E/F is an objective JDAM fighter/attack aircraft. Investigation of the F/A-18E/F JDAM captive carry environment was satisfactorily completed with GBU-31(V)2/B and GBU-31(V)4/B Environmental GTV (EGTV) flights at the Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), Patuxent River, MD. Fifty Separation Test Vehicles (STVs) will be released at NAWCAD to investigate weapon separation characteristics and generate a full envelope release clearance. Six GTVs will be captive carried and released at the Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division (NAWCWD) to evaluate full system integration and weapon system performance. Test missions will be preplanned using the latest TAMPS mission planning software. Test scenarios will cover a limited spectrum of JDAM requirements and mission profiles for the fighter mission. Aircraft telemetry, range Time, Space, Position Information (TSPI), JDAM telemetry and impact scoring data will be collected and analyzed to assess aircraft system compatibility and overall weapon performance.

The F-14B and the F-14D are objective JDAM fighter aircraft. Investigation of the F-14B/D JDAM captive carry environment was satisfactorily completed with GBU-31(V)2/B EGTV flights at NAWCAD, Patuxent River, MD. Four STVs were released at NAWCAD to investigate weapon separation characteristics and generate a limited envelope release clearance. Two GTVs were captive carried and released from the F-14B and a quantity of GTVs will be captive carried and released from the F-14D to evaluate full system integration and weapon system performance. Test missions will be preplanned using the latest TAMPS mission planning software. Test scenarios will cover a limited spectrum of JDAM requirements and mission profiles for the fighter mission. Aircraft telemetry, range TSPI, JDAM telemetry and impact scoring data will be collected and analyzed to assess aircraft system compatibility and overall weapon performance. Plans are currently underway to clear a second JDAM variant (i.e., GBU-31(V)4/B, GBU-32(V)2/B) on the F-14. FOT&E of the GBU-31(V)2/B on the F-14 aircraft began in FY00. F-14B DT is complete. F-14B OT began 1st quarter FY01 and completed 3rd quarter FY01. F-14D DT began 1st quarter FY01 and completed 4th quarter FY01. F-14D OT began 1st quarter FY02 and complete 3rd quarter FY02. Other JDAM configurations are expected to be integrated/evaluated in the future.

JDAM is being introduced to fleet activities through a phase-in concept. Early operational fielding occurred during Operation Southern Watch, and as of 15 September 2000, 51 GBU-31(V)2/B had been employed from carrier based F/A-18C/D aircraft with a mission success rate of greater than 90%.. The JDAM Program Office submitted a request to declare IOC for the GBU-31(V)2/B in March 2001. This date coincided with the deployment of the USS Truman, CVN-75, which included a load out of GBU-31(V)2/B. Other JDAM variants will be introduced as DT/OT and LRIP demonstrate the designs are ready for operational use.

In May 2002 a U.S. Air Force F-15E demonstrated its strike capability by launching five Boeing [NYSE: BA] GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munitions during testing at China Lake, Calif., successfully attacking five separate targets. The aircraft, launched from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., was from the 416th Flight Test Squadron. The ripple release of the five, 2,000 lb. JDAMs occurred from level flight at 25,000 feet and a speed of 0.80 Mach over the target range. This was the final JDAM guided-release mission for the F-15E Smart Weapons Integration.



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