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USAF Buys Add-On JDAM-ER Seeker to Target Russian GPS Jammers

The US Air Force is buying add-on seekers for its Joint Direct Attack Munition-Extended Range (JDAM-ER) bombs to help the precision-guided munitions take out Russian GPS jammers in Ukraine.

A $23,6-million contract was awarded to California-based Scientific Applications and Research Associates (SARA) to deliver and integrate the Home-on GPS Jam seeker with the JDAM-ERs sent to Ukraine.

Work is expected to be completed by October 2025. 

Joint Direct Attack Munition Kit

The award is in response to Russian electronic jamming degrading US precision munitions sent to Ukraine, including the JDAM-ER.

The Boeing precision kit can turn an air-launched, free-falling bomb into a precision guided munition and has been in use in Ukraine since at least May 2023. 

The Ukrainian Air Force’s Soviet-era MiG-29 Fulcrums and Su-27 Flankers have been configured to use the weapon.

Russian GPS Jamming

According to US officials Politico spoke to, Russian GPS jammers disrupt the weapon’s targeting process, causing them to miss their targets.

“I do think there may be concern that the Russians may be jamming the signal used to direct the JDAMs, which would answer why these munitions are not performing in the manner expected and how they perform in other war zones,” the outlet quoted former Pentagon official and retired CIA officer Mick Mulroy as saying.

Home-On GPS Jam Seeker

The seeker is expected to be resistant to electronic jamming and use the jamming signals to lock on to the source device as the target.

“Should an enemy strive to complicate the battlefield by stray or competitive RF energy, SARA’s HOJ (Home-on GPS Jam) subsystems can enable a host guided bomb or missile to engage it as the system or operator might prefer,” a company brochure issued in 2018 read.

“HOJ is compact and 1/10th the production cost of prior-generation systems. HOJ uses solid state components and a common munition interface which provides rapid, low-cost integration.”

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