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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Sep 22nd
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow IAF mulls purchase of new smart bomb
IAF mulls purchase of new smart bomb PDF Print E-mail
Written by JPost, Naharnet   
Monday, 15 December 2008

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'Smarter bombs' will allow Israel to hit Lebanon with impunity

IAF mulls purchase of new smart bomb
Dec. 11, 2008
Yaakov Katz , THE JERUSALEM POST

The Israel Air Force is considering purchasing a new and advanced smart bomb with an extended range that would allow fighter jets to hit targets in Damascus and Beirut without leaving Israeli airspace, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The smart bomb Israel is looking into is called the JDAM-ER (Joint Direct Attack Munition-Extended Range) which is under development by Boeing and the Royal Australian Air Force.

The JDAM is a low-cost guidance kit produced by Boeing that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into precision guided "smart" weapons. The JDAM kit consists of a tail section that contains a Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System and body improvements for additional stability and lift.

The ER version of the JDAM consists of an additional set of wings that are installed on the bomb and extend its range from just 15 nautical miles to 55.

"This would provide Israel with unprecedented stand-off capabilities," an industry source said this week. "Planes would not even have to leave Israeli airspace to be able to hit targets in Syria and Lebanon."

The ER version would also be helpful in a long-range strike against Iranian nuclear facilities since it would assist IAF jets in avoiding anti-aircraft defense missiles by allowing pilots to fire bombs from an extended standoff position.

Israel became the first foreign customer to purchase the standard JDAM system in 2000. The kits were then added on to Mk-84, 2,000-pound bombs, turning simple iron bombs into precision, satellite guided weapons.

The IAF has also recently received new shipments of JDAMs that are capable of using a laser for guidance as well as the standard GPS. It has also purchased a JDAM that is protected against electronic jamming. In addition, the IAF recently completed an upgrade of its F-15 fleet to enable all models of the aircraft to carry JDAM bombs. Until now, only the F-15I was capable of carrying the smart-bomb.

During the Second Lebanon War, the IAF exhausted its stockpile of JDAM bombs and received emergency shipments of thousands of kits from the United States. The aerial shipments caused an international uproar after one of the planes carrying the kits was routed through Glasgow's Prestwick Airport and reportedly did not fly according to safety and security procedures established by the British Civil Aviation Authority.

JDAM-equipped bombs receive data on the kit's target while still attached to the warplane's computer. After the jet releases it, a satellite takes over and guides it to its target. This relieves the aircraft and crew from the need to remain in enemy territory to "ride the bomb down" to its target. The system's greatest benefit is its accuracy regardless of weather conditions, day or night.

The JDAM-ER was successfully tested by the Australian air force.

Kevin Holt, JDAM-ER program manager for Boeing, said after the test that the JDAM-ER would enter initial production in 2010.

"By increasing range and accuracy, the delivery of the weapon will be more effective, allowing a single aircraft to engage multiple targets while the extended range increases the survivability of the aircrew and the aircraft launching the weapon," said Warren Snowdon, Australian minister for defense science and personnel.

This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1228728164992&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

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'Smarter bombs' will allow Israel to hit Lebanon with impunity
By Andrew Wander
Daily Star staff
Monday, December 15, 2008

BEIRUT: Israel is set to buy a "smart-bomb" system that will allow its pilots to strike Lebanese cities without leaving Israeli airspace, defense industry insiders from the Jewish state have said. Military acquisition chiefs in Israel are considering buying a bolt-on-kit that converts ordinary bombs into satellite-guided "smart" weapons which can be launched up to 80 kilometers away from their target.

This would bring vast swathes of Lebanese territory into range for Israeli bombers without them having to leave their own airspace.

The news comes months after rumors that Hizbullah has acquired advanced anti-aircraft capabilities prompted fears in Israel that one of their planes could be shot down.

The system, known as JDAM-ER, is a conversion kit which contains a set of wings and a GPS system built into a specially designed tail section. The kit turns traditional free-fall bombs into guided weapons for a fraction of the cost of more advanced smart-bombs.

The conversion kits are attractive to pilots because they offer a "fire and forget" capability, meaning that the once they leave their aircraft, their flight to the target is automatic. Some other guided weapons require the aircraft crew to "fly" the bomb to its destination.

Israel already uses a less advanced version of the kit which allows for the bombs to be released up to 20 kilometers from their target, but the upgrade will bring several major cities, including Beirut, into range.

The JDAM-ER is still being tested, but trials carried out by the Australian Air Force have encouraged Boeing, the American arms manufacturer that is hoping to sell the upgrade to Israel. Boeing officials say the new weapon will be available from 2010.

"This would provide Israel with unprecedented stand-off capabilities," an industry source told the Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post. "Planes would not even have to leave Israeli airspace to be able to hit targets in Syria and Lebanon."

Israel has used the standard version of the conversion kit since its introduction in 2000 and has recently modified all its F-15 fighter-bombers to accommodate the smart-bombs.

During the 2006 war, Israel used its entire stockpile of the weapons in Lebanon, and received emergency shipments rushed from the United States to replenish its supplies. During the conflict, Israel enjoyed total air supremacy over Lebanese territory because Hizbullah did not have substantial anti-aircraft capabilities.

But Israeli analysts believe that Hizbullah may have since strengthened its arsenal to include anti-aircraft missiles. Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah refused to confirm or deny the reports. "No one can expect me to stand up and say we possess new weapons or we don't," he said during a televised speech in August.

Israel continually violates Lebanese airspace to carry out what it claims are reconnaissance missions. Such overflights are in contravention of Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war, and have been condemned by the UN.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=98443

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