Joint Direct-Attack Munition|
The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) GBU-31 is a low cost guidance kit which converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into accurately guided "smart" weapons. JDAM consists of a new tail section containing an Inertial Navigation System (INS)/Global Positioning System (GPS) guidance to existing inventories of Mk.83 and BLU-110 1,000 pound (450 kg) bombs, and the Mk.84 and BLU-109 2,000 pound (900 kg) bombs. JDAM provides highly accurate weapon delivery in any "flyable" weather and can be dropped up to 15 miles from a target with updates from GPS satellites to help guide the bomb to the static target.
On 15 February 2001, F-14s from VF-11, VF-143 and VX-9 took part in a live-fire exercise and delivered 2,000 lbs JDAMs to NAWS China Lake ranges. This was the first time that fleet F-14 squadrons trained with the new weapon. The exercise was an outstanding success and fleet aircrews scored direct hits on the target proving the capabilities of the GPS-guided JDAM.
On the evening of March 11, 2002, an F-14 dropped the first ever combat JDAM during a mission against terrorism in Afghanistan. Comment from an F-14 crew: "We may be mature, but the claws are still sharp!"
Both the F-14B and F-14D had the capability to carry the 2000 lbs version of the JDAM and the F-14D had for its last deployment with VF-31 and VF-213 also the capability to carry and drop the 500 lbs version.
Photos: US Navy
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