Air Weapons: Lasers and GPS Kill Together

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September 23, 2006: The U.S. Air Force has completed flight tests of the LJDAM (Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition). The main difference between JDAM and LJDAM is the sensor unit. The GPS sensor on JDAM has a laser seeker sensor added, turning the JDAM into the LJDAM. The aircraft dropping the bomb uses its laser designator to track the moving target, and the LFDAM bomb hits the moving target.
Last year, an LJDAM hit a vehicle moving at 24 kilometers an hour. Earlier this year, the latest version of LJDAM hit a vehicle moving at 40 kilometers an hour. The most recent test was with a target moving at 64 kilometers an hour. Because of the string of successful tests, LJDAM will probably enter service next year. It will be useful against enemy convoys of moving vehicles, since the smallest LJDAM uses a 500 pound bomb. Aircraft equipped with LJDAM will not have to rely on missiles to hit moving targets. Moreover, the LJDAM is also more accurate against stationary targets, which is sometimes a major factor during urban combat.

 


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