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Boeing and Ferra Expand Precision Aerial Munition Partnership

Powered Joint Direct Attack Munition (PJDAM) provides affordable mass with reach for multiple missions [©Boeing]

Boeing and Ferra Engineering have signed an MoU to continue production of Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM ER) wing kits.

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Press Release, Brisbane, 24 October 2023: Boeing and Australia industry partner Ferra Engineering signed a Memorandum of Understanding to continue production of Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM ER) wing kits. The agreement also includes the intent to explore applications for Powered JDAM — a long-range, low-cost and mass-producible JDAM derivative capable of travelling upwards of 300 nautical miles.

Brisbane-based Ferra is Boeing’s global supplier of the 500-pound JDAM ER wing kits. Under the memorandum, the partnership will be extended through 2028. The partnership aligns with the Australian Defence Force’s commitment to enhance sovereign weapons capability under the Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) Enterprise and aligns with the AUKUS security partnership goal of advancing trilateral defence capabilities.

Ferra is Boeing’s global supplier of 500-pound JDAM ER wing kits [Boeing press release image]

“These wing kits developed by Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group and produced for Boeing by Ferra in collaboration with U.S partners are a success story for Australian industry,” said Bob Ciesla, vice president of Boeing Precision Engagement Systems. “Our participation in Defence’s Global Supply Chain (GSC) Program helped enable the partnership on JDAM ER wing kits and now opportunities for Powered JDAM.”

“Powered JDAM will exponentially increase the effective range of the munition, and alongside the JDAM ER, will effectively and affordably meet a variety of defence needs around the world,” Ciesla said.

Chief of Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance, Air Marshal Leon Phillips, praised the joint efforts of the Defence Science and Technology Group, Boeing and Ferra. “This project is a great example of Australian industry working with Defence to the great benefit of one of our key allies, the United States,” he said.

The JDAM ER kits triple the effective range of the standard JDAM — a low-cost option to convert the existing munitions into guided smart munitions.

“The RAAF was Boeing’s first JDAM ER customer and we have partnered with Boeing for 12 years to produce this critical global defence capability,” said Aaron Thompson, managing director of Ferra Engineering. “This assures our production pipeline and paves the way for continued innovation, such as Powered JDAM.”

“The expanded partnership further strengthens Australian industry’s capacity to contribute to the future needs of the Australian Defence Force and support its priorities to deter aggression and defend our country and our allies in the rapidly evolving threat environment,” Thompson said.

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