Early last month the MQ-9 Reaper drone made history when it dropped a GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) at the Nevada Test and Training Range near Creech Air Force Base.
“We had a great opportunity to drop the first live GBU-38s in training,” said Capt. Scott, 26th Weapons Squadron weapons instructor pilot. “The GBU-38 is a weapon we’ve been trying to get on the MQ-9 for several years now and we had the opportunity to be the first to drop during training.”
“The GBU-38, just like the Hellfire and GBU-12, is a very accurate weapon and the fact that it’s GPS-guided gives us another versatile way to guide the weapon, specifically, through inclement weather onto targets,” Scott said.
The JDAM being added to the arsenal is another step in furthering the attack capabilities of the MQ-9 Reaper force.
“There’s definitely times when I could’ve used the GBU-38 in combat prior to this,” Scott said. – US Air Force Central Command
The first two JDAM’s dropped successfully hit the intended targets. JDAM is a kit that converts an unguided or ‘dumb’ bomb into an all weather smart bomb that can be guided to its target.
Featured image of an MQ-9 Reaper loaded with a GBU-12 laser-guided bomb on the left and a GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition on the right April 13, 2017, at Creech Air Force Base by Senior Airman Christian Clausen, US Air Force