The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) is a guidance kit that converts unguided bombs, or "dumb bombs", into all-weather precision-guided munitions. JDAM-equipped bombs are guided by an integrated inertial guidance system coupled to a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, giving them a published range of up to 15 nautical miles (28 km). JDAM-equipped bombs range from 500 pounds (227 kg) to 2,000 pounds (907 kg). When installed on a bomb, the JDAM kit is given a GBU (Guided Bomb Unit) nomenclature, superseding the Mark 80 or BLU (Bomb, Live Unit) nomenclature of the bomb to which it is attached.
The JDAM is not a stand-alone weapon; rather it is a "bolt-on" guidance package that converts unguided gravity bombs into precision-guided munitions (PGMs). The key components of the system consist of a tail section with aerodynamic control surfaces, a (body) strake kit, and a combined inertial guidance system and GPS guidance control unit.
From 1998 to November 2016, Boeing completed more than 300,000 JDAM guidance kits. In 2017, it built more than 130 kits per day.
| Joint Direct Attack Munitions|
GBU-31: A Mk 84 bomb fitted with JDAM kit
|Type||Bomb guidance kit|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Used by||See operators|
War on Terror
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
War in North-West Pakistan
Al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen
Somali Civil War (2006–2009)
Somali Civil War (2009–present)
Syrian Civil War
American-led intervention in the Syrian Civil War
American-led intervention in Iraq (2014–present)
Turkish military intervention in Syria
Operation Olive Branch
Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017)
Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
Saudi–led intervention in Yemen
Conflict in Najran, Jizan and Asir
Battle of Marawi
|Unit cost||About US$25,000 (Depends on acquisition lot. Foreign sales have considerably higher prices.)|
|Length||9.9–12.75 feet (3.02–3.89 m)|
|Maximum firing range||Up to 15 nautical miles (28 km)|
|Wingspan||19.6 to 25 inches (500 to 640 mm)|
|Accuracy||Specified 13 meters; Realized around 7 meters|
The U.S. Air Force's bombing campaign during the Persian Gulf War's Operation Desert Storm was less effective than initially reported, in part because it had no precision bombs that were accurate in all weather. Laser guidance packages on bombs proved exceptionally accurate in clear conditions, but amid airborne dust, smoke, fog, or cloud cover, they had difficulty maintaining "lock" on the laser designation. Research, development, testing and evaluation (RDT&E) of an "adverse weather precision guided munition" began in 1992. Several proposals were considered, including a radical concept that used GPS. At the time, there were few GPS satellites and the idea of using satellite navigation for real-time weapon guidance was untested and controversial. To identify the technical risk associated with an INS/GPS guided weapon, the Air Force created in early 1992 a rapid-response High Gear program called the "JDAM Operational Concept Demonstration" (OCD) at Eglin Air Force Base. Honeywell, Interstate Electronics Corporation, Sverdrup Technology, and McDonnell Douglas were hired to help the USAF 46th Test Wing demonstrate the feasibility of a GPS weapon within one year. The OCD program fitted a GBU-15 guided bomb with an INS/GPS guidance kit and on 10 February 1993, dropped the first INS/GPS weapon from an F-16 on a target 88,000 feet (27 km) downrange. Five more tests were run in various weather conditions, altitudes, and ranges. The OCD program demonstrated an 11-meter Circular Error Probable (CEP).
The first JDAM kits were delivered in 1997, with operational testing conducted in 1998 and 1999. During testing, over 450 JDAMs were dropped achieving a system reliability in excess of 95% with a published accuracy under 10 metres (33 ft) CEP. In addition to controlled parameter drops, the testing and evaluation of the JDAM also included "operationally representative tests" consisting of drops through clouds, rain and snow with no decrease in accuracy from clear-weather tests. In addition, there have been tests involving multiple weapon drops with each weapon being individually targeted.
JDAM and the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber made their combat debuts during Operation Allied Force. The B-2s, flying 30-hour, nonstop, round-trip flights from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, delivered more than 650 JDAMs during Allied Force. An article published in the Acquisition Review Journal in 2002 cites that "during Operation Allied Force ... B-2s launched 651 JDAMs with 96% reliability and hit 87% of intended targets..." Due to the operational success of the original JDAM, the program expanded to the 500 pounds (227 kg) Mark 82 and 1,000 pounds (454 kg) Mark 83, beginning development in late 1999. As a result of lessons from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, both the US Navy and US Air Force pursued improvements to the kits such as better GPS accuracy as well as a precision seeker for terminal guidance for use against moving targets.
JDAM bombs are inexpensive compared to alternatives such as cruise missiles. The original cost estimate was $40,000 each for the tail kits; however, after competitive bidding, contracts were signed with McDonnell Douglas (later Boeing) for delivery at $18,000 each. Unit costs, in current-year dollars, have since increased to $21,000 in 2004 and $27,000 by 2011. To the cost of the tail kit should be added the costs of the Mk80-series iron bomb, the fuze and proximity sensor which bring the overall weapon cost to about $30,000. For comparison, the newest Tomahawk cruise missile, dubbed the Tactical Tomahawk, costs nearly $730,000. The JDAM's guidance system was jointly developed by the United States Air Force and United States Navy, hence the "joint" in JDAM.
Guidance is facilitated through a tail control system and a GPS-aided inertial navigation system (INS). The navigation system is initialized by transfer alignment from the aircraft that provides position and velocity vectors from the aircraft systems. Once released from the aircraft, the JDAM autonomously navigates to the designated target coordinates. Target coordinates can be loaded into the aircraft before takeoff, manually altered by the aircrew in flight prior to weapon release, or entered by a datalink from onboard targeting equipment, such as the LITENING II or "Sniper" targeting pods. In its most accurate mode, the JDAM system will provide a minimum weapon accuracy CEP of five meters or less when a GPS signal is available. If the GPS signal is jammed or lost, the JDAM can still achieve a 30-meter CEP or less for free flight times up to 100 seconds.
The introduction of GPS guidance to weapons brought several improvements to air-to-ground warfare. The first is a real all-weather capability since GPS is not affected by rain, clouds, fog, smoke, or man-made obscurants. Previous precision guided weapons relied on seekers using infrared, visual light, or a reflected laser spot to “see” the ground target. These seekers were not effective when the target was obscured by fog and low altitude clouds and rain (as encountered in Kosovo), or by dust and smoke (as encountered in Desert Storm).
The second advantage is an expanded launch acceptance region (LAR). The LAR defines the region that the aircraft must be within to launch the weapon and hit the target. Non-GPS based precision guided weapons using seekers to guide to the target have significant restrictions on the launch envelope due to the seeker field of view. Some of these systems (such as the Paveway I, II, and III) must be launched so that the target remains in the seeker field of view throughout the weapon trajectory (or for lock-on-after-launch engagements, the weapon must be launched so that the target is in the field of view during the terminal flight). This requires the aircraft to fly generally straight at the target when launching the weapon. This restriction is eased in some other systems (such as the GBU-15 and the AGM-130) through the ability of a Weapon System Operator (WSO) in the aircraft to manually steer the weapon to the target. Using a WSO requires a data link between the weapon and the controlling aircraft and requires the controlling aircraft to remain in the area (and possibly vulnerable to defensive fire) as long as the weapon is under manual control. Since GPS-based flight control systems know the weapon's current location and the target location, these weapons can autonomously adjust the trajectory to hit the target. This allows the launch aircraft to release the weapon at very large off-axis angles including releasing weapons to attack targets behind the aircraft.
The third advantage is a true "fire-and-forget" capability in which the weapon does not require any support after being launched. This allows the launching aircraft to leave the target area and proceed to its next mission immediately after launching the GPS guided weapon.
Another important capability provided by GPS-based guidance is the ability to completely tailor a flight trajectory to meet criteria other than simply hitting a target. Weapon trajectories can be controlled so that a target can be impacted at precise headings and vertical angles. This provides the ability to impact perpendicular to a target surface and minimize the angle of attack (maximizing penetration), detonate the warhead at the optimum angle to maximize the warhead effectiveness, or have the weapon fly into the target area from a different heading than the launch aircraft (decreasing the risk of detection of the aircraft). GPS also provides an accurate time source common to all systems; this allows multiple weapons to loiter and impact targets at preplanned times and intervals.
In recognition of these advantages, most weapons including the Paveway, GBU-15, and the AGM-130 have been upgraded with a GPS capability. This enhancement combines the flexibility of GPS with the superior accuracy of seeker guidance.
Despite their precision, JDAM employment has risks. On 5 December 2001, a JDAM dropped by a B-52 in Afghanistan nearly killed Hamid Karzai, while he was leading anti-Taliban forces near Sayd Alim Kalay alongside a US Army Special Forces (SF) team. A large force of Taliban soldiers had engaged the combined force of Karzai's men and their American SF counterparts, nearly overwhelming them. The SF commander requested Close Air Support (CAS) to strike the Taliban positions in an effort to stop their advance. A JDAM was subsequently dropped, but instead of striking the Taliban positions, it struck the Afghan/American position, killing three and injuring 20. An investigation of the incident determined that the U.S. Air Force Tactical Control Party (TACP) attached to the Special Forces team had changed the battery in the GPS receiver at some point during the battle, thereby causing the device to return to "default" and "display its own coordinates." Not realizing that this had occurred, the TACP relayed his own coordinates to the delivery aircraft.
Experience during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom led US air power planners to seek additional capabilities in one package, resulting in ongoing program upgrades to place a precision terminal guidance seeker in the JDAM kit. The Laser JDAM (LJDAM), as this upgrade is known, adds a laser seeker to the nose of a JDAM-equipped bomb, giving the ability to engage moving targets to the JDAM. The Laser Seeker is a cooperative development between Boeing's Defense, Space and Security unit and Israel's Elbit Systems. It is called Precision Laser Guidance Set (PLGS) by Boeing and consists of the Laser Seeker itself, now known as DSU-38/B, and a wire harness fixed under the bomb body to connect the DSU-38/B with the tail kit. During FY2004, Boeing and the U.S. Air Force began testing of the laser guidance capability for JDAM, with these tests demonstrating that the system is capable of targeting and destroying moving targets. This dual guidance system retains the ability to operate on GPS/INS alone, if laser guidance is unavailable, with the same accuracy of the earlier JDAM.
On June 11, 2007, Boeing announced that it had been awarded a $28 million contract by the U.S. Air Force to deliver 600 laser seekers (400 to the Air Force and 200 to the Navy) by June 2009. According to the Boeing Corporation, in tests at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons and F-15E Strike Eagles dropped twelve 500 pounds (227 kg) LJDAMs that successfully struck high-speed moving targets. Using onboard targeting equipment, the launch aircraft self-designated, and self-guided their bombs to impact on the targets. In addition to the LJDAM kits, Boeing is also testing under a Navy development contract, an anti-jamming system for the JDAM, with development expected to be completed during 2007, with deliveries to commence in 2008. The system is known as the Integrated GPS Anti-Jam System (IGAS).
The GBU-54 LJDAM made its combat debut on August 12, 2008 in Iraq when a F-16 from the 77th Fighter Squadron engaged a moving vehicle in Diyala province. Furthermore, the GBU-54 LJDAM made its combat debut in the Afghan theater by the 510th Fighter Squadron in October 2010.
In September 2012, Boeing began full-rate production of Laser JDAM for US Navy and received a contract for more than 2,300 bomb kits.
On July 24, 2008 Germany signed a contract with Boeing to become the first international customer of LJDAM. Deliveries for the German Air Force began in mid-2009. The order also includes the option for further kits in 2009.
In November 2014, the U.S. Air Force began development of a version of the GBU-31 JDAM intended to track and attack sources of electronic warfare jamming directed to disrupt the munitions' guidance. The Home-on-Jam seeker works similar to the AGM-88 HARM to follow the source of a radio-frequency jammer to destroy it.
In 2009, Boeing announced that it will jointly develop the Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM-ER) with South Korea. The guidance kit will triple the range of JDAM to 80 km for the same accuracy, and will cost $10,000 per unit. The first prototypes are to be completed in 2010 or 2011.
The wing kits of Australia's JDAM-ER weapons will be built by Ferra Engineering. First tests are to be conducted in 2013 with production orders in 2015.
On 23 September 2014, the U.S. Air Force performed the first-ever drop of a precision guided aerial mine, consisting of a Quickstrike mine equipped with a JDAM kit. The Quickstrike is a Mark 80-series general purpose bomb with the fuze replaced with a target detection device (TDD) to detonate it when a ship passes within lethal range, a safe/arm device in the nose, and a parachute-retarder tailkit in the back. Dropping of naval mines has historically been challenging, as the delivery aircraft has to fly low and slow, 500 ft (150 m) at 320 knots (370 mph; 590 km/h), making it vulnerable to hostile fire; the first aerial mining mission of Operation Desert Storm resulted in the loss of an aircraft, and the U.S. has not flown any combat aerial minings since. The Quickstrike-J is a JDAM-equipped 1,000 lb or 2,000 lb version, and the GBU-62B(V-1)/B Quickstrike-ER is a 500 lb or 2,000 lb gliding version based on the JDAM-ER, which has a range of 40 nmi (46 mi; 74 km) when launched from 35,000 ft (11,000 m). Precision airdropping of naval mines is the first advance in aerial mine delivery techniques since World War II and can increase the survivability of delivery aircraft, since instead of making multiple slow passes at low altitude directly over the area an aircraft can release all of their mines in a single pass from a standoff distance and altitude, and increase the mines' effectiveness, since instead of laying a random pattern of mines in a loosely defined area they can be laid directly into harbor mouths, shipping channels, canals, rivers, and inland waterways, reducing the number of mines required and enhancing the possibility of blocking ship transit corridors. Enemy naval ports can also be blockaded, and a defensive minefield quickly planted to protect areas threatened by amphibious assault.
JDAM is currently compatible with:
JDAM was compatible with the following aircraft:
Apart from being used by its main user—the United States military—the U.S. government has also approved the JDAM for export sale under the Arms Export Control Act, though in limited numbers to only a few countries.
The Aeronautics Defense Dominator Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is manufactured by the Israeli company Aeronautics Defense Systems. It is based on the Austrian Diamond DA42 passenger aircraft. Dominator UAV executes intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations.
The aircraft made its first test flight in July 2009. The unmanned aircraft has an endurance of 28 hours with a 900 lb (410 kg) payload and flies at 75-190 knots (140–350 km/h) to a maximum altitude of 30,000 ft (9,100 m).Air Armament Center
The Air Armament Center (AAC) was an Air Force Material Command (AFMC) center at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, responsible for development, acquisition, testing, and deployment of all air-delivered weapons for the U.S. Air Force. Weapon systems maintained by the center included the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, High-speed anti-radiation missile, HARM Targeting System, Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, Joint Direct Attack Munition, Miniature Air-Launched Decoy, Sensor Fuzed Weapon, and the Small Diameter Bomb.
The Air Armament Center was inactivated as an AFMC center on July 18, 2012, and its functions merged into the former 96th Air Base Wing at Eglin AFB. The new organization was renamed as the 96th Test Wing (96 TW) the same day as a subordinate command of the Air Force Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California.B61 nuclear bomb
The B61 nuclear bomb is the primary thermonuclear gravity bomb in the United States Enduring Stockpile following the end of the Cold War. It is a low to intermediate-yield strategic and tactical nuclear weapon featuring a two-stage radiation implosion design.The B61 is of the variable yield ("dial-a-yield" in informal military jargon) design with a yield of 0.3 to 340 kilotons in its various mods. It has a streamlined casing capable of withstanding supersonic flight speeds. The weapon is 11 ft 8 in (3.56 m) long, with a diameter of about 13 inches (33 cm). Basic weight is about 700 pounds (320 kg), although the weights of individual weapons may vary depending on version and fuze/retardation configuration.BLU-116
The BLU-116 is a United States Air Force bomb, designed as an enhanced bunker buster penetration weapon, designed to penetrate deep into rock or concrete and destroy hard targets.The BLU-116 is the same shape, size, and weight (1,927 lb / 874 kg) as the BLU-109 penetration bomb first deployed in the 1980s. The BLU-116 has a lightweight outer shell around a dense, heavy metal penetrator core. The shape and size mean that the BLU-116 could be used by unmodified existing aircraft and bomb guidance units such as the GPS guided GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition and GBU-24 Paveway III laser-guided bomb.FPG-82
The FPG-82 is an INS/GPS guided wing-kit for Mk-82-class bombs, under development by Friuli Aeroespacial, for the Brazilian Air Force.FT PGB
FT PGB is an abbreviation for a family of Chinese built precision guided munitions named To-Fly Precision Guided Bomb (Fei-Teng Jing-Que Zhi-Dao Zha-Dan, 飞腾精确制导炸弹), developed by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
FT PGB is actually an upgrade kit to modernize gravity bombs with precision guidance. The kit consists of two modules, the inertial guidance module and the satellite guidance module. The primary guidance system is the satellite guidance module, a technology reportedly to be reverse engineered from unexploded Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) ordnance in the NATO bombing of the People's Republic of China embassy in Belgrade, according to many Chinese military enthusiasts. A variety of satellite guidance can be used, such as GPS and GLONASS, as well as Chinese system Beidou navigation system, which will be usable in Asia-Pacific region in 2012. When satellite guidance is not available, the inertial guidance system is used, though the two systems are generally used together, complimenting each other.Chinese media have shown photographs of FT PGB being dropped from helicopters such as Chinese Naval Ka-28, in addition to the fixed winged platforms. FT series PGB is also used as a component for a subfamily of another Chinese PGM, LS PGB, a family of gliding precision guided bomb. FT series PGB was first revealed to public at the 7th Zhuhai Airshow held in November 2006 with two models of the family FT-1 and FT-3, and the family of this weapon is built to Chinese GJV289A standard, the Chinese equivalent of MIL-STD-1553B. The adaptation of such military standard means that the weapon can be readily deployed on any western platforms.There are 10 bombs in the FT family:
FT-1: satellite guided 500 kg / 1000 lb bombs
FT-2: satellite guided 500 kg / 1000 lb glide bombs
FT-3: satellite guided 250 kg / 500 lb bombs
FT-4: satellite guided 250 kg / 500 lb bombs with planar wing kit
FT-5: small diameter 100 kg bombs
FT-6: satellited guided 250 kg / 500 lb bombs with planar wing kit
FT-7: small 130 kg bomb with planar wing
FT-9: small 50 kg weapon for drones
FT-10: small 25 kg weapon
FT-12: large 500 kg glide bomb unit. A rocket booster can be attached to extend its range to 150 km, provided a release velocity of 600–1000 km/h.
TD500-ER: At the 9th Zhuhai Airshow held in November 2012, it was revealed that a family of satellite guided bombs (SGB) utilizing FT PGB upgrade kit was designated as Tiangang (or Tian Gang, 天罡 in Chinese, which is the ancient Chinese name for Pole star). Produced by the subsidiary of Norinco, the Harbin Jiancheng Group (哈尔滨建成集团有限公司), Polar star 500 was shown to the public at the airshow, named after 500 kg gravity bomb used. However, the developer confirmed that gravity bombs of other different sizes are available upon customer's requests. The marketing of Pole star series SGBs suggests that the FT PGB upgrade conversion kit, as well as the bombs armed with such conversion upgrade kits, the Pole star series, are both available for export.Pole star series SGB have rather unusual Pinyin abbreviation as TD, because when its Chinese name, Tian Gang is Romanized, the abbreviation is TG, which is the same as the abbreviation of another Chinese precision guided bomb (PGB), Tian Ge (or Tiange, 天戈 in Chinese, the ancient Chinese name for Boötes), which is a laser guided PGB developed by the same company reveal at the same airshow. Since the Pinyin abbreviation TG is already taken by Boötes (Tian Ge) series PGB, Pole star (Tian Gang) series PGB is named as TD series instead. The ER suffix is the English abbreviation for Extended Range, because the bomb also incorporates the gliding components of LS PGB to increase its range so that it can be launched further away from targets.Guided bomb
A guided bomb (also known as a smart bomb, guided bomb unit, or GBU) is a precision-guided munition designed to achieve a smaller circular error probable (CEP).Because the damage effects of explosive weapons fall off with distance according to a power law, even modest improvements in accuracy (and hence reduction in miss distance) enable a target to be effectively attacked with fewer or smaller bombs. Therefore, with guided weapons, fewer air crews are put at risk, less ordnance spent, and collateral damage reduced.
The creation of precision-guided munitions resulted in the retroactive renaming of older bombs as unguided bombs or "dumb bombs".KAB-1500S-E
The KAB-1500S-E (Russian: КАБ-1500С-Э) is a precision guided bomb, part of KAB-1500 family, designed for the Russian Federation Air Force (RFAF) to carry out precision attacks, using 24-channel GLONASS and is equivalent to the United States Air Force (USAF) Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) family of Global Positioning System (GPS) guided weapons.It is believed to be similar to the KAB-500S-E, and to use the same Kompas PSN-2001 (Pribor Sputnikovoy Navigatsii) satellite receiver.Russia intends to fit it to the Su-24M, Su-34, Su-35 and Mig-35 aircraft. They hope to export to India and China.KAB-500S-E
The KAB-500S-E (Russian: КАБ-500С-Э) is a guided bomb designed for the RFAF and is also the first guided bomb of the Russian Federation. It uses the 24-channel GLONASS GPS and is the Russian equivalent of the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) weapons family. It was first used during the Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War. The bomb's first trials were in 2000 and was displayed at airshows in 2003. It is also designed to destroy targets in harbors, industrial facilities and depots and uses an impact fuse with three programmable modes.Laser-guided bomb
A laser-guided bomb (LGB) is a guided bomb that uses semi-active laser guidance to strike a designated target with greater accuracy than an unguided bomb. First developed by the United States during the Vietnam War, laser-guided bombs quickly proved their value in precision strikes of difficult point targets. These weapons use on-board electronics to track targets that are designated by laser, typically in the infrared spectrum, and adjust their glide path to precisely strike the target. Since the weapon is tracking a light signature, not the object itself, the target must be illuminated from a separate source, either by ground forces, by a pod on the attacking aircraft, or by a separate support aircraft.
Data from Vietnam showed that laser-guided bombs achieved direct hits nearly 50% of the time, versus just 5.5% for unguided bombs. Because of this dramatically higher precision, laser-guided munitions can carry less explosive and cause less collateral damage than unguided munitions. Today, laser-guided bombs are one of the most common and widespread guided bombs, used by a large number of the world's air forces.M1156 Precision Guidance Kit
The M1156 Precision Guidance Kit, formerly XM1156, is a U.S. Army-designed precision guidance system to turn existing 155 mm artillery shells into smart weapons. The prime contractor is Alliant Techsystems and the industry team includes Interstate Electronics Corporation. By April 2018, more than 25,000 PGKs had been produced.MSOV
MSOV (Modular Stand-Off Vehicle) is a new modular stand-off glide bomb with a range of up to 100km (55nm), manufactured by Israel Military Industries (IMI). Length is 3.97m long and has a wingspan of 2.7m.The weight of the vehicle, including the a 675kg modular unitary warhead payload, is 1,050kg. Guidance is via GPS. The wings unfold after the weapon is released from the aircraft. Two MSOVs can be carried by an F-16I.Mark 81 bomb
The Mark 81 (Mk 81) 250 lb (113 kg) general purpose bomb (nicknamed "Firecracker") is the smallest of the Mark 80 series of low-drag general-purpose bombs.Munitions Systems Specialist (U.S. Air Force)
Munitions Systems specialists are enlisted airmen of the U.S. Air Force tasked with handling, storing, transporting, arming and disarming non-nuclear munitions.Munitions Systems career field is commonly referred to by airmen as "AMMO".Precision-guided munition
"Smart Weapon" redirects here. For the weapon systems customized to a single person, see personalized gun.
A precision-guided munition (PGM, smart weapon, smart munition, smart bomb) is a guided munition intended to precisely hit a specific target, to minimize collateral damage and increase lethality against intended targets.Because the damage effects of explosive weapons decrease with distance due to an inverse cube law, even modest improvements in accuracy (hence reduction in miss distance) enable a target to be attacked with fewer or smaller bombs. Thus, even if some guided bombs miss, fewer air crews are put at risk and the harm to civilians and the amount of collateral damage may be reduced.
The advent of precision-guided munitions resulted in the renaming of older bombs "unguided bombs", "dumb bombs", or "iron bombs".SMKB
The SMKB (Smart-MK-Bomb) is a guidance kit that turns a standard Mk 82 (500 lbs) and Mk 83 (1.000 lbs) into a Precision-guided weapon, respectively called SMKB-82 and SMKB-83. The kit provides extended range up to 50 kilometres (27 nmi) and are guided by an integrated inertial guidance system coupled to three satellites networks, relying on wireless to handle the flow of data between the aircraft and the munition.Spice (bomb)
The "SPICE" (Smart, Precise Impact, Cost-Effective) is an Israeli-developed, EO/GPS-guided guidance kit for converting air-droppable unguided bombs into precision guided bombs.
A derivative of the "Popeye" (AGM-142 Have Nap) air-to-surface missile, the "Spice" is a product of Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. It achieved initial operational capability during 2003, in Israeli Air Force F-16 squadrons.Unguided bomb
An unguided bomb, also known as a free-fall bomb, gravity bomb, dumb bomb, or iron bomb, is a conventional aircraft-delivered bomb that does not contain a guidance system and hence, simply follows a ballistic trajectory.
This described all aircraft bombs in general service until the later half of World War II, and the vast majority until the late 1980s.
Then, with the dramatically increased use of precision-guided munitions, a retronym was needed to separate 'smart bombs' from free-fall bombs. 'Dumb bomb' was used for a time, but many military circles felt it sounded too trite, and eventually 'gravity bomb' gained currency. Previously, they were also referred to as 'iron bombs'.Bomb casings for unguided bombs are typically aerodynamic in shape, often with fins at the tail section, which reduce drag and increase stability after release, both of which serve to improve accuracy and consistency of trajectory.
Unguided bombs typically use a contact fuse for detonation upon impact, or some milliseconds after if a penetration effect is required. One alternative is a fuse with an altimeter, to cause an air burst at the desired altitude.United States bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade
On May 7, 1999, during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia (Operation Allied Force), five US Joint Direct Attack Munition guided bombs hit the People's Republic of China embassy in the Belgrade district of New Belgrade, killing three Chinese reporters and outraging the Chinese public. According to the U.S. government, the intention had been to bomb the nearby Yugoslav Federal Directorate for Supply and Procurement. President Bill Clinton later apologized for the bombing, stating it was accidental. Central Intelligence Agency director George Tenet testified before a congressional committee that the bombing was the only one in the campaign organized and directed by his agency, and that the CIA had identified the wrong coordinates for a Yugoslav military target on the same street. The Chinese government issued a statement on the day of the bombing stating that it was a "barbarian act".