Minister for Defence Materiel Dr Mike Kelly today welcomed the Boeing Company’s selection of Australian supplier Ferra Engineering Pty Ltd to manufacture a new extended range wing kit that will enhance the performance of the Royal Australian Air Force’s Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM).
Dr Kelly said the JDAM Extended Range (JDAM-ER) bomb was an Australian initiative to extend the range of an existing JDAM weapon, used by Australia’s fleet of F/A-18A/B Hornets, by combining it with the newly-developed wing kit.
“The wing kit will almost triple the weapon’s current range, making the JDAM-ER a very cost effective weapon,” Dr Kelly said.
“The wing kit is based on the ‘Kerkanya’ glide technology initially developed by Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO).
“Boeing Defence Space and Security (BDS) as the original equipment manufacturer of the JDAM was selected to develop the JDAM-ER.
“Through its Office of Australian Industry Capability – established under Defence’s highly successful Global Supply Chain program – Boeing has demonstrated its confidence in Australian industry by selecting a local manufacturer to produce the wing kits.”
Based in Queensland, Ferra Engineering is one of the largest independently owned Australian manufacturers specialising in the precision engineering of aerospace parts.
“Ferra Engineering is well recognised across industry and by Government as a leader in its field. In 2011 they received Boeing’s International Supplier of the Year award from a supply base of over 13,500 suppliers,” Dr Kelly said.
Dr Kelly noted Ferra Engineering had received financial assistance and other support from Defence including through the New Air Combat Capability Industry Support Program (NACC-ISP) and as a regular participant in Team Australia displays at international defence exhibitions.
The first wing kits will be used for the JDAM-ER flight tests scheduled to be conducted later this year. Initial production orders are expected to be completed by 2015. This program provides potential for future worldwide sales and exports.
Dr Kelly’s Office: Robbie Rynehart (02) 6277 7730 or 0459 810 654
Defence Media Operations: (02) 6127 1999