The Tale of a Polymer JDAM

Members of the 81st Training Support Squadron at Keesler AFB, Miss., generated a full-scale mockup of the GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition using a new process known as fused deposition modeling. This process entails using a computer-controlled machine to layer melted polymeric material into a solid, three-dimensional model of the weapon. Unlike an inert version of the 1,000-pound GBU-32, the polymer model’s light weight makes it desirable for classroom use. The new dummy smart bomb is scheduled to arrive at Tyndall AFB, Fla., this month for use by the 325th Operations Support Squadron to train F-22 pilots on proper pre-flight weapons procedures. Lt. Col. Janet Pattison, 81st TRSS commander, said the new technology “has greatly increased” her unit’s ability to support training units across the Air Force. Plus, the FDM process is cost effective, according to squadron officials. (Keesler release)