A winged version of Boeing’s joint direct attack munition recently completed wind tunnel testing, announced the company. Boeing is building the 500-pound JDAM Extended Range weapon for the Royal Australian Air Force under a contract awarded in 2011. First delivery of these munitions, which Boeing will assemble in Australia, is slated for 2015, states the company’s Aug. 30 release. JDAM ER features a modular wing kit that unfolds in flight and triples the munition’s glide range to more than 40 miles, according to the release. JDAM operators can couple the wing kit with other JDAM modular enhancements, such as laser sensors, said Boeing. JDAM ER will make it safer for pilots to execute missions in challenging environments, said Debbie Rub, Boeing’s general manager for missiles and unmanned airborne systems.
An Air Force C-17 transport jet recently tested a new technology that could help aviators stay on course even if the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) that much of modern-day aviation relies on is compromised.