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JDAM vs. LGBs


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When would you use one but not the other? Specifically, when would you use LGBs over JDAM? On the surface it would seem JDAMs are strictly better. You can use TOO with the TPod in the same way as you would set up an LGB pass, but then JDAM is fire and forget and doesn't seem to be any less accurate than an LGB. Or are they less accurate by enough that trying to take out small armoured targets (e.g. tanks) with JDAM isn't a good idea?


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JDAMs are generally better, but I had quite a lot of JDAMs missing their TOO targets by up to 10m in the past few weeks, so I reverted to use more LGBs when attacking single unit targets.

 

Against moving targets you have to use LGBs instead of JDAMs.

 

I also like LGB when doing buddylasing, because then I can just drop them in a general area and my buddy will guide them on different targets, which is nice when flying without a TGP and can be more comfortable and quicker than passing coordinates for JDAMs back and forth.

 

Btw, I wonder if we will ever see LJDAMs (e.g GBU-54) in DCS :music_whistling:

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When would you use one but not the other? Specifically, when would you use LGBs over JDAM? On the surface it would seem JDAMs are strictly better. You can use TOO with the TPod in the same way as you would set up an LGB pass, but then JDAM is fire and forget and doesn't seem to be any less accurate than an LGB. Or are they less accurate by enough that trying to take out small armoured targets (e.g. tanks) with JDAM isn't a good idea?

JDAMS have a CEP of around 5 or 6 meters. Big armoured targets like MBT can survive a glancing hit in the game.

 

But the main reason to choose one or another is simple. Moving targets.

 

JDAMs hit a specific GPS coordinates in space, so the best defence against them is just moving away from those coordinates.

 

LGB just follow where the laser pointer is firing, hence you can hit moving targets with it no problem.

 

But remember that clouds, fog and other weather hazards degrade a lot the laser precision, making LGB useless under such conditions.

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Aha, got it. So LGBs are probably better for close support type tasks e.g. clearing out FARP defenders on typical MP servers despite you needing to stick around to guide the bomb in.

 

But JDAM may be better for getting rid of unarmoured AAA and small SAM batteries (assuming they don't move, but I don't think they do).

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Aha, got it. So LGBs are probably better for close support type tasks e.g. clearing out FARP defenders on typical MP servers despite you needing to stick around to guide the bomb in.

 

But JDAM may be better for getting rid of unarmoured AAA and small SAM batteries (assuming they don't move, but I don't think they do).

JDAM (or JSOW for that matter) are good for anything but moving targets and very hard targets which can survive a glancing hit.

 

LGB offer pinpoint precision but at the cost of longer loiter time.

 

8 JSOW spam from 25 NM in 1 minute never gets old though... if only they fixed BLU bomblets to be more potent...

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Aha, got it. So LGBs are probably better for close support type tasks e.g. clearing out FARP defenders on typical MP servers despite you needing to stick around to guide the bomb in.

 

But JDAM may be better for getting rid of unarmoured AAA and small SAM batteries (assuming they don't move, but I don't think they do).

 

 

Pretty much. Keep in mind that the military keeps both weapon systems because they compliment each other. There has been some interesting attempts to combine the all-weather standoff capability of the JDAM with the accuracy of the LGB.

 

The GBU-54 Laser JDAM can update its target's coordinates when it spots a laser. The US military has experimented with putting terminal seekers and datalinks on various GPS-guided munitions like the GBU-53 and the AGM-154C-1.

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Pretty much. Keep in mind that the military keeps both weapon systems because they compliment each other. There has been some interesting attempts to combine the all-weather standoff capability of the JDAM with the accuracy of the LGB.

Depends on the military. For example, the German Air Force is actually using the GBU-54 LJDAM as the sole guided bomb on its Tornados AFAIK.

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I think when your picking your own targets, and there not moving JDAM is the way to go. But if working with a FAC or an AFAC you may find the LGB a bit easier and more intuitive. I suspect that if the Kiowa isn’t complete shit you online guys will be getting a lot more use out of those LGBs. The counter argument is that IRL most of those heavy tanks have laser detection, aka the one in the Blackshark, and will pop smoke and move the moment the FAC lights them up.

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JDAMs can't deal with moving targets.

 

This, and if it was simulated, good luck when some GPS jamming is in operation.

 

Pro side of the JDAMs clearly is that you can assign multiple missions and drop a whole bunch in little time that's going to hit different static targets.

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This, and if it was simulated, good luck when some GPS jamming is in operation.

That's why JDAMs are usally INS/GPS guided, so they will still guide even without GPS ;)

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This song just came to my mind for some reason (lyrics) :music_whistling:

 


Edited by QuiGon

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Jdam also when overcast since TGP wont see through the clouds.

Gbu´s for clear weather for example.

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I experimented a little bit with JDAM PK on the A10C last fall. Running 20 consecutive passes using the most consistent and favorable conditions I could conceive, I found 38's to have a success rate of ~75% achieving one pass / one bomb K-Kills on T72s. Full write up / data / tracks here.

 

In light of that, my feeling since has been, when a tank positively has to go down in one pass under visual conditions, I'm going for the Paveway.

 

This was using the latest OB of the time (Oct 2019)...if something has been updated or changed since then, kindly disregard.

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I like delivering 4x GBU-31 on 4 stationary tanks in one pass. Very efficient and good fun to watch.

Yeah, but instead of 4x GBU-31 you could carry 8x GBU-38 (which don't guarantee a kill on a tank) or 8x GBU-12 (which do guarantee a tank kill) ;)

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Yeah, but instead of 4x GBU-31 you could carry 8x GBU-38 (which don't guarantee a kill on a tank) or 8x GBU-12 (which do guarantee a tank kill) ;)

 

 

agreed. but sometimes I like that one pass thing. and yes, the GBU-38 is not the ultimate tank killer. especially when the 4th tank starts moving as the 1st was hit. so I'm always glad when the mission's loadout shows the big 31's.

 

 

 

I like LGB's a lot, too. Once upon a time it was possible to hit quite a lot targets in one pass with a ground based JTAC but they seemed to have reduced the max range of the LGB's or something so this is not reproducible as easily as it used to be anymore.

 

 

It is not the topic, but 8x JSOWs do a lot of tank-wrecking for me, too ;)

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Here's a list, to the best of my knowledge:

 

JDAM

Pro:

  • Fire and forget, multi-target pass capable
  • All weather capable (visibility limitations may reduce FLIR designation capabilities in TOO mode)
  • Greater launch envelope
  • Ability to dictate target terminal attack angle and azimuth (not yet implemented in DCS)
  • Ability to pre-load known targets for easy designation and attack

Con:

  • Unable to hit moving targets
  • EW may degrade accuracy
  • Les accurate overall
  • Greater power-up / alignment time
  • Target must be a spot definable by a GPS coordinate

 

LGB

Pro:

  • More accurate
  • Can strike moving targets
  • Immune to enemy countermeasures
  • Target can be any given spot on an object (window of a building, for example)
  • Target can be designated in real time by another asset

Con:

  • Usability degraded by weather - especially clouds, fog, and rain
  • Range limited by FLIR visibility range and line of sight
  • Must be delivered to a more precise location
  • Guiding platform must maintain guidance until impact

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LGB guidance can also be spoofed IRL by tank smokescreens. The smoke can reflect or refract the laser beam, messing up terminal guidance.

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When would you use one but not the other? Specifically, when would you use LGBs over JDAM? On the surface it would seem JDAMs are strictly better. You can use TOO with the TPod in the same way as you would set up an LGB pass, but then JDAM is fire and forget and doesn't seem to be any less accurate than an LGB. Or are they less accurate by enough that trying to take out small armoured targets (e.g. tanks) with JDAM isn't a good idea?

 

 

 

 

I would always use JDAM and JSOW before LGB, because GBU must wait for the impact to free the laser and attack the next one. The advantage of GBU is that it keeps moving targets, while JDAM and JSOW only attack coordinates. I don't know the Hornet manual and I can be wrong in many things, but this is my opinion.

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I actually prefer LGBs when attacking single vehicles, as they are more precise than JDAMs which can and do miss by up to 10m.


Edited by QuiGon

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I prefer the JDAMs for most my ground pounding because you can chuck one (depending on altitude) for 20+/- miles in at 35,000 ft. in an F/A-18. Talk about 'shoot-n-scoot'!

A fun challenge is to target a RADAR install at the practice range airfield north of Batumi and see if you can be WOW at Batumi before it hits :megalol:

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It might be fun, but if the target is a main battle tank and your JDAM is a GBU-38, chances are high that the tank will still stand even hours after you landed ;)

That's why I prefer the GBU-12 LGB in that case. If I need standoff range I rather take JSOWs than JDAMs, especially as the Hornet can carry just as many of them.

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Not totally out thread … I noticed since a while that the last second or two before hitting, the Gbu38 starts "dancing" left / right - the Gbu12 laser doesn't do that in same conditions (it goes strait to target untill impact).

 

I thought it was maybe due to "ground wind" but the Lgb is not affected so … maybe to "simulate" less precision with Gbu38 ?

(BTW, when aiming with TGP with area track, looking for closest contact between ground and target, Gbu38 hits on target IME)

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