The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Boeing have successfully conducted a series of tests on a new wing kit for the 500-pound JDAM, according to a Boeing release.
The new wing kit, used with the weapon’s existing guidance kit, increases the 15-mile range of the freefall Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) to more than 45 miles in the Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM ER), according to the release.
This makes sense. One suspects they borrowed and updated some of the code from the JSOW glider weapon.
The increasing sophistication of ground based air defense will call for more and more standoff capability from precision guided weapons, particularly weapons for Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) and Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses (DEAD).
No one weapon is a silver bullet in the SEAD/DEAD arena. A combination of intelligence (finding where the enemy assets are), electronic warfare, standoff weapons, and deception will be required.
At the top end of the scale, Russian built and exported S-300 and S-400 SAMs will be tough nuts to crack. But even short of those very long range systems, other air defense assets will call more and more for standoff, deception and saturation attacks (which in turn call for low cost weapons) to degrade and destroy.