Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM)

Product Type:

Gravity Bomb Guidance Kit

Using Service (US):

Air Force (USAF) and Navy

Program Status:

Full Rate Production (FRP)

Prime Contractor:

The Boeing Company - St. Charles, MO

The GBU-31/32/38 JDAM

About JDAM:

Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) is a low-cost gravity bomb guidance kit manufactured by Boeing. It converts existing unguided General Purpose Bombs into accurately guided smart weapons. JDAMs can be launched from a distance of more than 17 miles (28 km) from the target and receives updates from U.S. Air Force GPS satellites to help guide the weapon to the target. Boeing builds JDAM weapons at the company's St. Charles, Missouri facility.

The JDAM guidance kit uses either the 2,000-pound BLU-109/Mk 84 (GBU-31 JDAM), the 1,000-pound BLU-110/Mk 83 (GBU-32 JDAM) or the 500-pound BLU-111/Mk 82 (GBU-38 JDAM) warhead as payload. JDAM enables employment of accurate air-to-surface weapons against high priority fixed and relocatable targets from fighter and bomber aircraft. Guidance is facilitated through a tail control system and a GPS-aided Inertial Navigation System (INS). The navigation system is initialized by transfer alignment from the aircraft that provides position and velocity vectors from aircraft systems. Body strakes provide additional stability and lift.

Once released from the aircraft, the JDAM autonomously navigates to the designated target coordinates. Target coordinates can be loaded into the aircraft before takeoff, manually altered by the aircrew before weapon release, or automatically entered through target designation with onboard aircraft sensors. In its most accurate mode, the JDAM system will provide a weapon Circular Error Probable (CEP) of 16.4 feet (5.0 m) or less during free flight when GPS data is available. If GPS data is denied, the JDAM will achieve a 98 feet (30.0 m) CEP or less for free flight times of up to 100 seconds with a GPS quality handoff from the aircraft. JDAM can be launched from very-low to very-high altitudes in a dive, toss or loft and in straight and level flight with an on-axis or off-axis delivery. JDAM enables multiple weapons to be directed against single or multiple targets on a single pass.

The JDAM production team includes Honeywell (inertial measurement unit), Rockwell Collins (GPS receiver), Textron (tail actuator subsystem), Lockheed Martin Corporation (mission computer), Lockely (tail fairing), Enser and Eagle-Picher (battery), and Stremel (strakes and cable cover).

Since Boeing started the production of JDAM in 1998, thousands of guidance kits have been delivered. On August 20, 2013, Boeing announced the production of its 250,000th JDAM kit.

In September 2012, Boeing announced that a new JDAM variant, the GBU-54 500-pound Laser JDAM, had entered full rate production (FRP). Boeing delivered the first production laser kits to the U.S. military in 2008, and the Air Force employed them in combat that same year.

Boeing is currently developing and testing a JDAM Extended Range or JDAM ER variant, which incorporates a low-cost wing and extends the JDAM standoff range to more than 40 miles (64 km). The Royal Australian Air Force became Boeing's first JDAM ER customer in 2011. On March 13, 2013, Boeing announced the selection of Australia-based Ferra Engineering to build wing kits for the JDAM ER.


JDAM is integrated on the B-52H Stratofortress, B-1B Lancer, B-2A Spirit, A-10C Thunderbolt II, the AV-8B Harrier II, F-22A Raptor, F-15E Strike Eagle; all variants of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the F/A-18A+/C/D Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Integration is currently in progress on the F-35 Lightning II and MQ-9 Reaper.

Price/Unit Cost:

The unit cost of a basic JDAM tailkit is $27,000, while the cost of the Laser JDAM tailkit is $42,000 (in FY 2015).

Total Cost - Life of Program (LoP):

The total procurement cost of the JDAM program is $6.63 billion (estimated by the DoD) + $0.60 billion in research and development (RDT&E) funds, which means the total estimated program cost is $7.23 billion (numbers are aggregated annual funds spent over the life of the program and no price/inflation adjustment was made).


Joint Direct Attack Munition is a joint U.S. Air Force and Navy program led by the Air Force. JDAM improves the existing inventory of general purpose gravity bombs by integrating a Global Positioning System (GPS)/Inertial Navigation System (INS) guidance capability that improves accuracy and adverse weather capability. The program enhances DoD conventional strike system capabilities by providing the ability to precisely attack time-critical, high value fixed or maritime targets under adverse environmental conditions and from all altitudes.

FY 2015 DoD JDAM Program:

Continues JDAM production at a low rate given acceptable inventory levels. In FY 2015, Air Force procurement funds in the amount of $228.4 million have been provided to purchase 4,333 JDAM tail kits. The last year of Navy procurement of JDAM kits was FY 2009.

FY 2016 DoD JDAM Program:

Continues full-rate production of JDAM tail kits. In FY 2016, Air Force procurement funds in the amount of $559.1 million have been requested for the purchase of 12,294 JDAM tail kits, 2,260 laser sensors, and 225 test equipment sets.

For more information, click to see the FY 2016 Air Force JDAM Budget.

Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and The Boeing Company

Specifications Applications DoD Spending FY2016 Budget

Last Update: July 15, 2015.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// (

External Resources:

Boeing's JDAM Site: Joint Direct Attack Munition

YouTube: Joint Direct Attack Munition | YouTube

Fact Sheet: JDAM | Fact Sheet
Fact Sheet: Laser JDAM | Fact Sheet

Total JDAM Program Cost:

 $7.23 billion  ($6.63B procurement + $0.60B RDT&E)

JDAM Procurement Objective:

  272,648 kits  (271,844 production + 804 development)

JDAM U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on the JDAM program in FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015 and FY 2016
DoD Purchases of GBU-31/32/38 JDAM Tail Kits in FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015 and FY 2016
Defense Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2012/13/14 + Budget for FYs 2015 + 2016

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the GBU-31/32/38 JDAM Weapon System

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

JDAM Tail Kit Purchases (USAF)

Specifications: GBU-31, GBU-32, GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition

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Primary Function: Guided air-to-surface weapon
Prime Contractor: The Boeing Co.
Length: (JDAM and warhead) GBU-31 (v) 1/B: 152.7 in (387.9 cm);
GBU-31 (v) 3/B: 148.6 in (377.4 cm); GBU-32 (v) 1/B: 119.5 in (303.5 cm);
GBU-38: 92.6 in (235.2 cm)
Wingspan: GBU-31: 25 in (63.5 cm); GBU-32: 19.6 in (49.8 cm);
GBU-38: 14 in (35.6 cm)
Launch Weight: (JDAM and warhead) GBU-31 (v) 1/B: 2,036 pounds (925.4 kg);
GBU-31 (v) 3/B: 2,115 pounds (961.4 kg); GBU-32 (v) 1/B: 1,013 pounds (460.5 kg);
GBU-38: 558 pounds (253.6 kg)
Range: Up to 15 nm/17 miles (28 km)
Ceiling: 45,000+ ft (13,716+ m)
Guidance System: Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS)
B-1B Lancer
B-2A Spirit
B-52H Stratofortress
A-10C Thunderbolt II
AV-8B Harrier II
F-15E Strike Eagle
F-16 Fighting Falcon (all variants)
F/A-18A+/C/D Hornet
F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
F-22A Raptor
F-35 Lightning II (integration in progress)
MQ-9 Reaper (integration in progress)
Price/Unit cost: $27,000 per JDAM tailkit (in FY 2015)
Deployed: 1999

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