September 2, 2004: Raptor Test Fires Joint Direct Air-to-Ground Munition

  • Published
  • Air Force Flight Test Center

Following release from an F-22 at 30,000 feet altitude, an inert satellite-guided 1,000-pound guided bomb unit (GBU-32) Joint Direct Air-to-Ground Munition (JDAM) weapon shape successfully hit its target on the Air Force Flight Test Center’s Precision Impact Range Area. The test reportedly marked “the first complete mission demonstration of the Raptor’s air-to-ground capability.”

The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) GBU-31 was a tailkit under development to meet both USAF and Navy needs, with the Air Force as the lead service. The program produced a weapon with high accuracy, all-weather, autonomous, conventional bombing capability. JDAM upgraded the existing inventory of general purpose and penetrator unitary bombs, and a product improvement may add a terminal seeker to improve accuracy. JDAM possessed the capability to be launched from approximately 15 miles from the target and each was independently targeted.

JDAM was not intended to replace any existing weapon system; rather, it provided accurate delivery of general purpose bombs in adverse weather conditions. The JDAM upgrade the existing inventory of Mk-83 1,000- and Mk-84 2,000-pound general purpose unitary bombs and the 2,000-pound hard target penetrator bomb by integrating a guidance kit consisting of an inertial navigation system/global positioning system guidance kit. The 1,000-pound variant of JDAM is designated the GBU-32, and the 2,000-pound version of the JDAM is designated the GBU-31. JDAM variants for the Mk-80 250-pound and Mk-81 500-pound bombs are designated GBU-29 and GBU-30, respectively. Hard Target penetrators being changed into low-cost JDAMs included the 2,000 pound BLU-109 and 1,000 pound BLU-110.

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