Warplanes: January 3, 2000

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The US Air Force has decided to procure a smaller version of the Joint Direct Attack Munition. The current JDAM is a tail-kit that attaches to a dumb bomb, providing it with GPS (satellite) guidance. To date, JDAM has been fitted only to Mk84 bombs (2,000 pounds). A kit is already being developed for the Mk83 (1000 pound) bomb, and now the Air Force will procure a JDAM kit for the Mk82 (500 pound) bomb. The point is that some targets do not need the larger bombs, and an aircraft with a given bomb load could attack more targets if it had smaller bombs available. The smaller bombs also reduce the collateral damage and resulting civilian casualties. The smaller bombs are particularly useful for the F-22, which has limited internal weapons storage (external weapons ruin the stealth features) and could use the smaller bombs to attack air defense installations. --Stephen V Cole

 


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