US-Supplied JDAM-ER Glide Bombs Appear On Ukrainian Jets For The First Time

JDAM-ER Ukraine

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JDAM-ER Ukraine

The JDAM-ER put in on the MiG-29 and the Storm Shadow put in on the Su-24. (Pictures: Ukrainian Air Power and Twitter sources)

Pictures posted on-line present the bomb’s Mk-80 sequence physique and a part of its glide equipment, in addition to a Storm Shadow missile carried by a Su-24 utilizing a modified pylon from the Twister GR4.

New pictures of western weapons put in on the Ukrainian Soviet-era jets emerged on-line, exhibiting for the primary time the JDAM-ER (Joint Direct Assault Munition-Prolonged Vary) guided bomb and a close-up of the pylon used to hold the Storm Shadow cruise missile. Whereas the Storm Shadow was already shown each in movies of fight employment and pictures whereas carried by Ukrainian jets, the JDAM-ER’s presence and employment in Ukraine was acknowledged however no photograph/video proof was obtainable.

Actually, in March 2023, US and Ukrainian officers confirmed the delivery and the combat employment of the weapon, respectively, however the weapon was by no means seen on a Ukrainian plane and a few movies exhibiting supposed JDAM-ER bombs weren’t helpful for identification. That modified when the Ukrainian Air Power printed a put up to thank the USA on their Independence Day, exhibiting the guided bomb put in on a MiG-29, along with an AGM-88 HARM missile and Patriot and NASAMS launchers.

The pictures clearly present the Mk-80 sequence bomb physique, in addition to a part of the glide equipment of the JDAM-ER. The JDAM kits are often put in on the five hundred lb Mk-82, the 1000 lb Mk-83 and the 2000 lb Mk-84 bombs, however US officers didn’t disclose which one can be utilized in Ukraine along with the GPS-guidance equipment. From the pictures we are able to’t exactly inform the scale of the weapon, nonetheless the Ukrainian web site Militarnyi identifies them as Mk-82 bombs.

The equipment combines a pop-out wing kit with the well-know GPS tail information equipment, bettering the stand-off capabilities of the weapon. In comparison with the usual JDAM which might attain as much as 15 miles, the Prolonged Vary variant can hit targets 45 miles away, protecting the launching plane additional away from enemy air defenses. Identical to the AGM-88 HARM, it seems that the JDAM has been put in on the interior pylons of the MiG-29’s wings, however it isn’t identified what it’s getting used to load it on the jet.

The pictures of the JDAM-ER on the MiG-29, with the glide equipment circled in crimson, and a JDAM-ER on a F/A-18. (Pictures: Ukrainian Air Power and Australian MoD)

Storm Shadow

One other photograph printed few days in the past on Twitter present a weapon that we’ve got already seen in Ukraine, the British-supplied Storm Shadow cruise missiles. The photograph present for the primary time how the Storm Shadow is being carried by the Su-24, and it seems that the British usually are not solely suppling the missiles, but additionally the pylons that have been used to put in it beneath the fuselage of the Tornado GR4.

The pylon has been modified, including assist beams to connect it on the Su-24’s pylons and eradicating the half in extra which was not actively used to hold the weapon. Actually, the Storm Shadow assist lugs are hooked up to the central part of the Tornado’s pylon, so the half in extra was eliminated and changed by the tip cap often seen within the entrance of the weapon.

The Storm Shadow and its pylon seen on the Su-24 and the pylon on the Twister GR4, with the identifiable half circled in crimson and the missile’s assist lugs proven by the arrows. (Pictures: Unknown supply by way of Twitter and Royal Air Power)

As we already talked about, the Storm Shadow was already seen in a number of events beneath the Su-24’s wings, and the missiles particles have been extensively proven on social medias. The way it was carried and used was by no means disclosed, even when British officers mentioned it required a prolonged integration work. The missile can be seen with a number of cables hooked up to its steering part, which may be used to load goal coordinates earlier than the flight, leaving to the pilots solely the precise launch operation.

HARM LAU-118

The Storm Shadow just isn’t the one Western weapon in Ukraine utilizing its authentic launcher, as we already seen the identical with the AGM-88 HARM. Actually, after preliminary pictures and movies the place the pylon was blurred, movies finally emerged on-line showing the HARM loaded on the MiG-29 with its customary LAU-118 missile launcher and a customized rack used to connect it to the MiG-29’s pylon. With this being mentioned, it’s attainable {that a} comparable work was performed with the JDAM-ER, perhaps utilizing the usual MAU-12 ejector rack usually used on the F-15 and F-16.

Stefano D’Urso is a contract journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based mostly in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he is additionally finding out to attain a Grasp Diploma in Aerospace Engineering. Digital Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT methods utilized to the world of army operations and present conflicts are amongst his areas of experience.



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