Suffolk jets in weapon first

POWERFUL F-15E Strike Eagle jets based at a Suffolk base have dropped a revolutionary new precision weapon for the first time – securing the fighter's place as one of the most sophisticated in the world.

POWERFUL F-15E Strike Eagle jets based at a Suffolk base have dropped a revolutionary new precision weapon for the first time – securing the fighter's place as one of the most sophisticated in the world.

RAF Lakenheath's 48th Fighter Wing successfully completed the first operational drops of the new Joint Direct Attack Munitions(JDAMs) at the Aberporth Range in North Wales, this week.

The precision guidance weapon provides a new dimension to the United States Air Force's arsenal due to its unprecedented accuracy and all weather capabilities.

Results of the first mission using the weapons on Tuesday show it dropped within metres of its designated target.


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Although the weapon has previously been dropped from bomber aircraft and the F-16 Fighting Falcon, it was the first time it had been used by a F-15E Strike Eagle, the world's most capable air-to-ground precision fighter jet.

Prior to the bombs being dropped earlier this week, ground crews spent months preparing the weapons for the mission following an intensive training programme.

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Senior Master Sergeant Patrick Adams, the 48th Munitions Squadron Production Flight chief, said: "We received the JDAM and its support equipment in December and began training in earnest in January.

"While the weapon incorporates many new technologies, the technicians have mastered programming and troubleshooting the guidance systems as well as assembling the weapon. They've put in a lot of hard work to get this far and we're really looking forward to adding this weapon to the wing's arsenal."

The JDAM is a precision guidance tail kit that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into accurate guided weapons. Once released from the F-15E, the JDAM autonomously navigates to the designated target.

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