Military


GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM)

The JDAM 1000 and 2000 lb versions are in service and are being utilized in actual combat. They serve the fleet in providing precision guidance and all weather attack capability. The GBU-32 and GBU-35 are the 1000-lb versions of JDAM using the MK-83 and BLU-110 warheads.

Boeing is under contract for more than 50,000 JDAM kits in the GBU-31 (v) 1B/3B (2,000 lb. MK-84 general purpose (GP) / BLU-109 penetrator), GBU-32 (1,000 lb. MK-83), and GBU-35 (1,000 lb. BLU-110 GP) configurations.

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).

The AV-8B is threshold aircraft for GBU-32(V)2/B and GBU-35(V)1/B integration. The AV-8B completed wind tunnel testing in June 1996. Integration testing will be initiated in FY01 and completed in FY03. Sixteen STVs are planned to evaluate the GBU-32(V)2/B release envelope on the AV-8B. Eight GBU-32(V)2/B GTVs will be dropped to complete design, development, and validation and verification of the AV-8B OFP software, OC1.2. This will be followed by an FOT&E with 25 GBU-32(V)2/B. Aircraft handoff, weapon impact, and other data will be collected to assess system accuracy, maneuverability, and compatibility. FOT&E of the GBU-32(V)2/B and GBU-35(V)1/B on the AV-8B aircraft began 4th quarter FY01. DT began 4th quarter FY01 and is expected to complete 3rd quarter FY02. OT will begin 3rd quarter FY02 and is expected to complete 1st quarter FY03. Other JDAM configurations are expected to be integrated/evaluated in the future.

Full system integration on the F/A-18C/D aircraft is in progress with satisfactory results to date. Post MS III (2000 lb.) flight testing objectives will consist of completing initial full system integration testing on the F/A-18C/D aircraft, to include evaluation of changes to fin unlock timing and related autopilot software, integration on the remaining ORD threshold and objective aircraft, LAT/WSEP, and technology insertion in parallel with the GBU-31(V)2/B and GBU-31(V)4/B technology insertion effort. The F/A-18C/D is the initial, full system integration (threshold) fighter/attack aircraft for GBU-32(V)2/B and GBU-35(V)1/B development. Wind tunnel, captive carry, safe separation, carrier suitability, and OFP 15C V&V indicate that the GBU-32(V)2/B and GBU-35(V)1/B are on track to meet threshold requirements. Nine DT Guided Test Vehicle (GTV) releases are planned to verify GBU-32(V)2/B and GBU-35(V)1/B are ready for full rate production. A planned FOT&E effort will complete carrier operability, captive carriage and release of ten GBU-32(V)2/B and GBU-35(V)1/B GTVs by Air Test & Evaluation Squadron Nine (VX-9) to support a separate GBU-32(V)2/B MS III decision. A concurrent effort will verify full system functionality of the F/A-18C/D software, OFP 15C, planned for IOC with the GBU-32(V)2/B and GBU-35(V)1/B variants.

The fleet has shown great interest in getting the 1000 lb JDAM for use in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The 1000 lb JDAM provides accurate GPS/INS guidance, all weather attack capability, like the 2000 lb JDAM version, but in a smaller package that allows for more mission flexibility.

The F/A-18C/D was designated a threshold aircraft for the 1000 lb JDAM program in August 1998. The integration test program included Captive Carriage, Separation, Carrier Suitability, Software Integration, Guided Releases, and other tests.

An F/A-18 Hornet from Strike Fighter Squadron One Three One (VFA-131) flew over Afghanistan 29 March 2002 equipped with the first combat carriage of the new GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) mounted under its starboard (right) wing. VFA-131 is part of Carrier Air Wing Seven (CVW-7), deployed aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 67) and is conducting combat missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.



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