The JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) is a smart bomb unit composed of a conventional gravity bomb and a guidance kit that makes up the finned tail of the bomb. It has been used by both the US Air Force and Navy since 1997. To become a Joint Direct Attack Munition, this guidance kit is fitted to either a Mk-84 or a BLU-109 conventional bombs. The latter is a bunk-buster hardened penetration bomb. It employs as launching platforms the B-52 and B2 bombers as well as the F-15 Eagle, F-16 Falcon, and F-18 A/F fighter aircraft.

Since the JDAM is guided to the target by GPS (Global Positioning Satellites), it can strike targets regardless of the weather conditions, no matter how much overcast the sky is. The tail of the bomb is fitted with an inertial navigation clock, which measures feet and meters, as it falls down, rather than measuring seconds. To be able to hit a moving target, some JDAMs are equipped with a laser seeker on the nose. Thus, the accuracy of the JDAM greatly reduces colateral damages, sparing the lives of civilians. The Joint Direct Attack Munition has been used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Specifications

Weight: 925 kg (when the kit is on a Mk-84 bomb) / 910 kg (on BLU-109)

Length: 3 m / 3.9 m

Maximum range: 28 km (19 miles)

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JDAM strikes against enemy targets in Iraq and Afghanistan (video)

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