05 April 2010

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Know about the Smart bombs, Difference between bomb, rocket and missile –

Know about the Smart bombs, Difference between bomb, rocket and missile –

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1. Smart bomb - a bomb that can be guided (by a laser beam or radio) to its target while a simple normal bomb is basically nothing more than a warhead, or an explosive charge, wrapped inside an aerodynamic shell to give it stability as it falls towards a target.

2. Laser-guided bomb - a smart bomb that seeks the laser light reflected off of the target and uses it to correct its descent; "laser-guided bombs cannot be used in cloudy weather"

3. a smart bomb is a precision-guided munition

4. Real-time pictures of the target area to the aircrew, which then lock the weapon onto the target or actively guide it all the way to impact. In bombs with the laser-guidance system, commonly called laser-guided bombs, the target is illuminated by a laser beam from the releasing aircraft, another target-control aircraft, or a ground force

5. The first smart bombs were equipped with television cameras, and transmitted a "bomb's eye view" of the target back to a controlling aircraft. An operator in this aircraft then transmitted control signals to steerable fins fitted to the bomb.

6. After this came smart bombs used laser guidance, relying on the target being illuminated by a "target designator" on the ground or on an aircraft, but were not usable in poor weather conditions where the target illumination could not be seen, or where it was not possible to get a target designator near to the target. The laser designator sends its beam in a series of encrypted pulses so that the bomb cannot be confused by an ordinary laser. Current and new technology developed is JDAM which I have mentioned below.

7. Dumb Bomb - A bomb has no propulsion system, so the weapon can only travel to its initial momentum and the acceleration of gravity. A bomb also has no form of guidance and will fall wherever its momentum takes it. It is for this reason that unguided bombs are often referred to as "dumb" bombs. There are many types of dumb bombs and are classified on their weight. The Mk 80 family includes the Mk 81, weighing 250 lb (113 kg), the Mk 82, weighing 500 lb (227 kg), the Mk 83, weighing 1,000 lb (454 kg), and the Mk 84, weighing 2,000 lb (907 kg).

8. In the US munitions designation system, unguided bombs like these are typically denoted by the term BLU For example, the Mk 82 and 83, with are also known as the BLU-111 and BLU-110 while a close relative of the Mk 84 is the BLU-109.

9. A common type is the Mk 80 series developed by the US Navy

10. If an unguided warhead is attached to some type of propulsion system, most often a solid rocket motor, the result is a rocket. A rocket has no form of guidance and remains a "dumb" weapon. The rocket has a means of propulsion that allows it to travel farther and faster than a bomb.

11. When we take unguided rocket and add a guidance system, the result is a missile.

12. A missile contains all three of the elements a warhead, a propulsion system, and some form of guidance.

13. The most common types of seekers or sensors used today include infrared, radar, lasers, inertial, and GPS. It is the use of these guidance systems that turns a "dumb" weapon into a "smart" weapon.

14. Missiles are normally classified as air-to-air missiles to fight and destroy the enemy aircraft and air-to-ground missiles to target the surface, land or destroy enemy army and their tanks, to help the army move ahead faster to capture the enemy land. If you saw the Movie Border you will easily understand this theory. The USA uses the names for them as follows names like AIM for Air Intercept Missile and AGM for Air Surface-attack Missile.

15. Cluster Bombs are unguided so they are also called as dumb bombs. Cluster bombs popularity is less because after the use also they keep their effects on that area. Mines and chemical weapons are now largely outlawed by international agreements.

16. A guided bomb, also known as a GBU for Guided Bomb Unit, is an unguided warhead that has a guidance system attached to it. This guidance unit turns the "dumb" warhead into a "smart" bomb it still lacks a propulsion system

17. The most well known guided bombs include laser-guided bombs and GPS-guided bombs. Laser-guided bombs were first developed during the Vietnam War as a method of making more accurate attacks against targets

18. A laser-guided bomb consists of a dumb bomb, like one of the Mk 80 family, with a laser seeker system attached to the nose. Control fins are also added to the nose and tail to give the bomb the ability to maneuver. The seeker makes it possible for the bomb to lock onto a specific target while the control system adjusts the bomb's course and steers it towards that target. To understand this correctly please see the picture below the article.

19. The US has developed a new class of guided bombs that uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) to guide the bomb to hit the target with more accuracy. These bombs are known as Joint Direct Attack Munitions, or JDAM and these bombs also use the unguided warhead of the Mk 80 family but adds a GPS system

20. The JDAM kit consists of a tail unit that is attached to the Mk 80 warhead. This tail unit carries a GPS receiver and processor allowing the weapon to compute its location relative to the coordinates of a pre-programmed target. The guidance system then adjusts the moveable tail fins to control the weapon's trajectory as it falls to the target.

21. Examples of the JDAM family include the GBU-38, based on the Mk 82 500-lb warhead, GBU-32, based on the Mk 83 1,000-lb warhead, and GBU-31, based on the Mk 84 2,000-lb warhead.

22. There are two basic families of laser-guided bombs in American service: the Paveway II and the Paveway III.

23. The Paveway III guidance system is more aerodynamically efficient and so has a longer range, however it is more expensive.

24. Paveway II 500-pound LGBs (such as GBU-12) are a cheaper lightweight PGM suitable for use against vehicles and other small targets, while a Paveway III 2000-pound penetrator (such as GBU-24) is a more expensive weapon suitable for use against high-value targets.

25. In aerial wars these smart bombs are used. In aerial wars when the bomb is dropped on the target it should hit it with the 100 percent accuracy, saving the innocent targets with great results to end war faster.

26. Today there are many weapons which use the guidance system; this is reason one has to define each weapon separately.

27. Smart Bombs or PGM may be regarded as weapons which are air launched and guided to their target through the use of laser, electro-optical sensors, global positioning systems, or inertial navigation systems.

28. Smart bombs were developed in the Germany and USA

29. German weapon types were the Ruhrstahl/Kramer X1, or Fritz X, and the Henschel Hs 293, both used for anti-shipping purposes. Both were guided to their targets by radio signals. The Hs 293 was the first into action, sinking the sloop HMS Egret on 27 August 1943.

30. A guided bomb is different from the guided missile. Guided missile has an onboard engine and guided bomb depends on the speed and height of the launch aircraft for propulsion

31. In aerial war fights fire and forget means pilot can release the weapon and it will guide itself to the target without further input, which allows the delivery aircraft to manoeuvre to escape return fire.

32. It is very difficult to use the smart bombs efficiently in bad weather when visibility of the ground or target from the air was degraded.

33. The problem of poor visibility does not affect satellite-guided weapons such as Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW), which make use of the United States' GPS system for guidance. This weapon can be employed in all weather conditions, without any need for ground support. But if the target information is wrong then it will hit the wrong target .but when target information is perfect and correct it will surely hit the target destroying it

34. Boeing has developed a Laser JDAM (LJDAM) to provide both types of guidance in a single kit. The fighter aircraft F16 has the capacity to carry these hybrid laser JDAM as well as older smart bombs.

35. The laser-guided munitions can be dropped from Pakistan's current fleet of US-made F-16 fighter jets.

36. The GPS-guided munitions currently in service are the USA's GAM-84 and GAM-113

37. Propulsion means moving forward, the act driving forward or away; the act or process of propelling; as, steam propulsion.

38. The measurement used to determine bombing efficiency is known as circular error probable or CEP. The CEP is the radial distance from a target inscribing an imaginary circle with an area large enough so that 50 percent of the bombs dropped fall within it

39. munition means weapons collectively

Below is the photo of MK84 Series Bomb showing fuse, wing etc.

Few readers commented that in arms articles that its to much technical, so I tried this time to make it as easy as possible to understand the subject.

Thanks for commenting


Apanatva April 05, 2010  

don't you think its a sensitive topic....
must read my new one .

Kavita Saharia April 05, 2010  

Very detailed post...thanks for sharing.

sm,  April 05, 2010  

thanks, yes topic is sensitive as Recently USA agreed to give smart bombs to Pakistan.
This is the reason to write this article

Swatantra April 05, 2010  

Thanks for sharing!! It was an interesting read!!

chitra April 05, 2010  

I never knew abcd above these topics. that is why I am visiting your blog to read and get some info. Was away from blogosphere for few days. Shall become active very soon.

sm,  April 05, 2010  


sm,  April 06, 2010  


sm,  April 06, 2010