Boeing and Ferra to develop longer range gliding munition


Boeing and Australian manufacturer Ferra Engineering have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to continue production of Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM ER) wing kits for local and export markets.

The companies also plan explore applications for Powered JDAM — a long-range, low-cost and mass-producible JDAM derivative capable of travelling upwards of 300 nautical miles.

Brisbane-based Ferra is Boeing’s global supplier of the 500-pound JDAM ER wing kits, with the partnership being extended through 2028.

Boeing said in a statement that the partnership aligned with the Australian Defence Force’s commitment to enhance sovereign weapons capability under the Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) Enterprise and the AUKUS security partnership.

Managing director of Ferra Engineering Aaron Thompson said: “The RAAF was Boeing’s first JDAM ER customer and we have partnered with Boeing for 12 years to produce this critical global defence capability.

“This assures our production pipeline and paves the way for continued innovation, such as Powered JDAM.”

The wing kits were developed by Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group and produced for Boeing by Ferra in collaboration with U.S partners.

Vice president of Boeing Precision Engagement Systems Bob Ciesla said: “Our participation in Defence’s Global Supply Chain (GSC) Program helped enable the partnership on JDAM ER wing kits and now opportunities for Powered JDAM.

“Powered JDAM will exponentially increase the effective range of the munition, and alongside the JDAM ER, will effectively and affordably meet a variety of defence needs around the world.”

The JDAM ER kits triple the effective range of the standard JDAM — a low-cost option to convert the existing munitions into guided smart munitions.

Picture: Boeing/Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range

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