Boeing to build more GPS-guided smart bombs under Pentagon shift
By TONY CAPACCIO | Bloomberg | Published: October 6, 2017
Boeing is getting a $153 million increase in Pentagon funding to boost production of its top smart bomb by 25 percent, with the money shifted from other purposes including counterterrorism aid to Pakistan.
The four congressional defense committees have given their required approval to provide the added $153 million to Boeing in a "reprogramming" of unused fiscal 2017 funding. Of that, $100 million will be taken from reimbursements to Pakistan, which President Donald Trump criticized in August for providing a "safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror."
A document from the Pentagon comptroller's office said "funds are required to increase production capacity" starting with a February contract at Boeing's facility in St. Charles, Missouri. It will increase production of tail-kits, which convert free-fall bombs into smart ones guided by Global Positioning System satellites, to 45,000 a year for the U.S. and allies, up from 36,500 this year. The converted bomb is known as the Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM.
Boeing has steadily increased production of the tail-kits from 10,000 in 2012 to 14,000 in 2015.
While the Air Force doesn't provide breakdowns of the weapons dropped on Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria and Taliban forces in Afghanistan, Pentagon officials have long acknowledged that the JDAM is the U.S.'s most widely used precision-guided weapon.
A joint direct attack munition sits in the back of a C-17 Globemaster III from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Feb. 26, 2016. The explosive was loaded with several tons of munitions by the 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron Ramp Services team in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
JAMES HODGMAN/U.S. AIR FORCE