That’ll ruin your day

Boeing Scores Direct Hit in Laser JDAM Moving Target Test

“Laser JDAM’s performance continues to exceed our highest expectations,” said Boeing LJDAM Program Manager Scott Van Dyke. “LJDAM has the flexibility to engage both fixed and moving targets. This weapon will fill a significant gap in capability currently encountered by our warfighting customers.”

During the test at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., a U.S. Air Force F-16 flying at 20,000 feet scored a direct hit on an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) moving at 25 mph. Using its onboard targeting pod, the F-16 laser-designated the APC and released the 500-pound LJDAM approximately four miles from the target.

The Laser JDAM sensor is a modular kit that is easily installed in the field to the front of existing JDAM weapons. The laser sensor further enhances the highly capable Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System JDAM into one of the most mission flexible, low-cost weapons available in the world today.

Boeing will complete its development of the 500-pound LJDAM in 2006. Initial production deliveries are planned to begin as early as 2007.

I had been unaware of this project. Is this more or less effective than the Affordable Moving Surface Target Engagement (AMSTE) system that I noted back in December of 2003?

Comments

  1. Wow, that’s awesome! My biggest complaint with JDAMS compared with LGBs has always been two-fold; the inability to hit moving targets, and the inability to shift aim at the last second. On the other hand, JDAMs don’t require the target to be lased up to impact, which can be hazardous for an aircraft, and they can even be tossed. So combining the strength of both into a single munition is a big step forwards! I wonder if you can toss this at a target using GPS and then have someone on the ground lase just before impact for a more accurate strike. That would be useful, too.

  2. This weapon will fill a significant gap in capability currently encountered by our warfighting customers.’ God, it’s the attack of the Marketroids.

  3. So long as they fall back on their core competencies to impact functionality, but I’ll want to see some dashboards before… the… mrrf!…grrrf… Sorry, had to wrestle the gun out of my mouth. I made a pact with myself that if I ever fell prey to the Marketroids I would do myself.

  4. Got love the military – overlapping programs that do the same thing – just shovel the money out down rat hole. Anyway – This system can be viewed as the low end system to hit moving targets. By low end – I mean it does not require high end radar platforms to function. eg. JSTAR, ASEA, TR-1 or Global Hawk. In general laser is more accurate then SAR/GPS but is more vulnerable to weather conditions and counter measures. SAR/GPS is more weather tolerant but has issues in busy terrain and creates a golden target issue. (eg. hit the SAR source to stop the bombs) Overall the two system would compliment each other. The SAR/GPS units would be generally more expensive to buy, and the LDAM’s more expensive to maintain.