Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lowers delivery costs . . .

WHILE DAVE AND BORIS and the rest of the wretches bring us the latest outrages of Stevie and his fascists, this little item is worthy of your notice: Boeing has given the JDAM 300% longer range, according to DEFENSETECH.

OK, so what's a JDAM, and why the hell should you care? It's an acronym for Joint Direct Attack Munition.

JDAMs are conversion kits for 500 lb and 2,000 lb traditional "iron" bombs, that turn them from non-guided, 'dumb' iron, to GPS/laser-guided munitions, with a 7 meter accuracy. Why do this? It saves money. A Tomahawk Cruise Missile, with a 1,000 lb warhead can cost up to somewhere around 1.5 to 2 million dollars a piece. A JDAM kit is about $20,000 and the iron bomb? Nickel-dime.

And, unlike a lot of gee-whiz super-duper hardware for the weapons fetishists, they're simple, cheap — and they work. Check out the demo with JDAMS and a B-2 at 42,000 feet, as it dumps 81, yes 81, 500 lb. JDAMS. That's 20 tons of precision guidance.

Problem was, up til now, the glide range was only about 15 miles/30 km, which means that the aircraft are within Surface-to-Air threat zones. Well, adding some simple wings now gives a 45 mile range, which means that non-stealth F-15's, F-16's, F-18's, Tornadoes and NATO MiGs and Sukhois and the like can now use JDAM and survive, launching from the edge of the SAM envelope, and bugging out before the SAM can get a lock-on.

Who's threatened? States like Syria and Iran and North Korea. They all have invested heavily in SAM's, and now it doesn't mean much.

Why should you care? Well, things could start to get somewhat more "active" in the near future, now that the cost of employing precision-guided high explosives has been so substantially reduced. In 4-5 years, non-G-8 airforces will acquire this capability. South-East Asia could explode. That's probably why the Australians are interested in the improved JDAM, according to DEFENSETECH.

For example, the Israelis could use it next year (6 months from now) to take apart the Iranian command infrastructure, to take out the SAMs, then take apart the Mad Mullah Machine — at comparative leisure, because the Iranians won't have anything to throw at the IAF from the ground or attack it in the air that will work, while the IAF lobs JDAMs onto Mossad-obtained GPS locations. The IAF stays outside the SAM envelope, and they got F-15's for anything air-to-air that is foolish enough to give it a try. All the Iranians may be effectively able to do is throw SCUDS and such at Tel Aviv, which becomes an attack on civilian populations, because the accuracy is deficient, and that might not work out so well at the UN. 

Hopefully, somebody might remember: it cost the USAF 10 or so B-52's on Linebacker II, but the USAF Wild Weasels finally took out all the Hanoi SAM sites and radar co-ordinating the most ferocious anti-aircraft network ever built, and the B-52's started the Curtis LeMay "Back to the Stone Age" campaign, and within a week, the North Vietnamese were doing a Joan Rivers: "Can we talk?" The point is: losing control of your airspace means you have lost control of your options. With Mossad carefully writing down all those target locations on GPS, the Mullahs might want to mull their options over a mulled beverage of some kind. Kinda like McDonalds: change from a $20,000 add-on. I wish they'd spend the coin on this kind of delivery system, though.

1 comment:

Purple library guy said...

While I get the point here, it's hardly a cureall for Israeli or US war objectives.
I mean, the reason the Americans are losing the Afghan war is clearly because of the Afghans' ferocious anti-air defences. No?