Hitting the target at the right angle: what is known about "smart" bombs JDAM-ER, which were first shown under the wings of AFU aircraft
The other day the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine demonstrated for the first time high-precision JDAM-ER bombs under the wings of Ukrainian fighters. In fact, the use of these air bombs integrated on the Soviet MiG-29 fighter jet was officially confirmed.
The first reports about the transfer of JDAM-ERs appeared back in December, and in March U.S. Air Force Commander Europe James Hecker stated that "smart" bombs were already being used by Ukraine in its war with Russia. On March 31, Yuriy Ignat, spokesman for the Air Force Command, reported that Ukrainian aviation was successfully striking JDAM-ERs "against important targets. What these bombs are and what they can do, tells OBOZREVATEL.
JDAM-ER integrated on the MiG-29
The photos published by Air Force Commander Mykola Oleschuk on July 4 show an AGM-88 HARM anti-radar missile, a Patriot air defense missile system and two JDAM-ER glide bombs , Defense Express experts noted.
"We can identify the JDAM-ER due to the kit with fins attached to the bombs. In addition, the bombs themselves are identified, as well as the aircraft used as the carrier, the MiG-29, as we see the distinctive landing gear and open compartment for it," the report said.
They identified the bombs in the photo as 500-pound Mark 82 (230 kg weight), which are essentially the Western analogue of the Soviet FAB-250, familiar to Ukrainian pilots and technicians.
Each Mark 82 contains 87 kilograms of an explosive called tritonal, 18 percent more powerful than TNT.
The JDAM-ER guidance system helps improve such a bomb by increasing its range and allowing the aircraft carrier to drop the bomb beyond the range of Russian air defenses. The maximum range of such a glide bomb is about 70 km at an altitude of 12 km or about 40 km when launched in pitch (angular motion) at low altitude.
Characteristics of the JDAM-ER
JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) is a set of special equipment for unguided bombs that turns them into smart, guided munitions.
It consists of a steerable fins and inertial control systems paired with a GPS receiver. The trajectory of the bomb can be programmed so that the target can be hit at the desired angle.
The U.S. military uses this technology for bombs weighing up to 907 kilograms, usually used from bombers and fighters. In Ukrainian realities, this allows the system to be used in MiG-29, Su-25, Su-24 and Su-27 aircraft.
The cost of one such set is $25,000.
Ukraine received a JDAM-ER (Extended Range) version from the United States. It has a range of up to 72 km and turns the bomb not just into a high-precision bomb, but also into a gliding bomb.
The addition of wings makes it possible to extend the range of bombs from 24 to 70-80 km and destroy remote enemy positions and targets without putting scarce aviation into the target area of hostile short-range air defenses.
As OBOZREVATEL reported, the network showed a video of a powerful JDAM bomb attack on a Kafir command post in the Donetsk region. The enemy simply did not have a chance.