Some Palestinians have claimed that JDAM, Israel’s go-to weapon, has been used in bombing the hospital in Gaza which killed over 500 civilians, amidst Israel’s claims that Hamas’ misfired rocket was responsible for the blast.

What is JDAM?

Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) is a guidance kit that transforms unguided or “dumb” bombs into highly accurate, all-weather, and satellite-guided smart munitions. Developed by the United States Department of Defense, JDAM technology significantly enhances the precision and effectiveness of aerial bombing missions.

JDAM kits are typically fitted to conventional bombs, like the Mk 82 or Mk 84, making them capable of navigating to their target with pinpoint accuracy. The core components of a JDAM include a GPS-aided Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS), control fins, and a tail kit assembly. These elements work in tandem to ensure the bomb reaches its intended target with exceptional precision.

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The GPS/INS system allows JDAM-equipped bombs to receive satellite guidance information, providing real-time data on their location and the location of the target. This information is constantly updated during the bomb’s descent, ensuring accuracy even in adverse weather conditions or when GPS jamming is attempted.

The control fins on the JDAM kit enable the bomb to adjust its trajectory and maintain course corrections during its flight. This capability allows for precise targeting, reducing collateral damage and increasing mission success.

One of the most significant advantages of JDAM technology is its versatility. It can be used with various types of aircraft, including bombers, fighter jets, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The compatibility of JDAM with different delivery platforms makes it a highly adaptable and widely used munition in the U.S. military and among allied nations.

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JDAM has proven to be a game-changer on the battlefield, offering unparalleled precision, reduced risk to civilian populations, and improved mission success rates. Its reliability and ease of use have made it a staple in modern air warfare, allowing military forces to minimize collateral damage while hitting high-value targets with unparalleled accuracy.