Air Weapons: Laser Precision And A Big Bang


February 21, 2009: Israel is buying the new U.S. LJDAM (Laser Joint Direct Attack Munitions). This is the GPS JDAM system, but with the more accurate laser guidance in addition to GPS. It's economical because the only difference between JDAM and LJDAM is the seeker.

On the down side, laser light can be blocked by rain or sand storms, but laser guidance is more accurate (hitting within a meter or two of the target, compared to ten meters for JDAM) and able to hit moving targets. Israel will use LJDAM on its F-16 and F-15 fighter-bombers. LJDAM would be an ideal weapon going after multiple moving targets (such as Hamas  convoys). Since the smallest JDAM uses a 500 pound bomb (containing 280 pounds of explosive), this provides far more bang than a Hellfire (which contains about ten pounds). The laser guided Hellfire is the preferred missile for attacking individual vehicles. But with LJDAM, even a near miss will be a kill.

Last year, Germany became the first foreign buyer for LJDAM.





Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contribute. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   contribute   Close