The Pentagon is providing an additional $153 million in funding to Boeing Co. to increase smart bomb production, starting with a contract at the company's St. Charles facility.
The contract, which starts in February, will boost production of tail-kits that convert free-falling bombs into GPS-guided smart bombs, Bloomberg reports. The funding will up production from this year's 36,500 converted bombs, which are known as the Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM, to 45,000 a year for the U.S. and allies.
Four congressional defense committees have approved the increased funding, which is coming from a "reprogramming" of unused funding from fiscal 2017. This includes the shifting of $100 million in funds slated for counterterrorism aid to Pakistan, Bloomberg reports.
Boeing has been increasing production at its local JDAM program as the U.S. military's rising reliance on air power in the Middle East has boosted demand. Earlier this year, it was reported that Boeing was producing about 120 GPS guidance kits for the JDAM daily at its local plant, up from about 40 in early 2015.