Nov 29, 1998
The Air Force and the Pentagon, citing testing problems, are delaying full production of The Boeing Co. 's top smart bomb by a year - a move that could slow orders to the tune of as much as $3 billion, according to Air Force officials and documents. The Pentagon delayed the full-rate production decision for the high-profile Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM, to April 1999 from this April after tests showed severe shock waves hammering and cracking the bomb's tail kit as it hangs from the wing of a Navy F-18 fighter. The bomb, guided by Global Positioning System satellite links, is designed to be dropped from many Air Force and Navy aircraft, including theB-2 bomber, and F-16, F-15 and F-18 fighter aircraft. The problem is confined to one bomb rack location on the F-18.