BLU-109 Bomb

BLU-109 Bomb

The BLU-109/B is a hardened penetration bomb used by the United States Air Force (BLU is an acronym for Bomb Live Unit). As with other “bunker busters”, it is intended to smash through concrete shelters and other hardened structures before exploding. In addition to the US, it is part of the armament of the air forces of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates.

Design

The BLU-109/B has a steel casing about 1 inch (25 mm) thick, filled with 530 pounds (240 kg) of Tritonal. It has a delayed-action tail-fuze. The BLU-109 entered service in 1985. It is also used as the warhead of some marks of the GBU-15 electro-optically guided bomb, the GBU-27 Paveway III laser-guided bomb, and the AGM-130 rocket-boosted weapon. This weapon can penetrate 4–6 feet of reinforced concrete, which is greater than the 3 foot capability of the Small Diameter Bomb.

Variants

The BLU-118 is reportedly a thermobaric explosive filler variation on the BLU-109 casing and basic bomb design. It contains PBXIH-135, a traditional explosive.

In 2015 General Dynamics started a $7.2 million development of a version called HAMMER, which is intended to destroy chemical and biological substances by spreading dozens of Kinetic Fireballs Incendiaries (KFI) (not explosions) inside a bunker. The KFIs have evolved out of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program by Exquadrum, Inc. of Adelanto, California.

Specifications

Mass 1,927 lb (874 kg)
Length 7 ft 11 in (2.41 m)
Diameter 14.6 in (370 mm)

Operators

  • United States Air Force
  • Royal Moroccan Air Force
  • Republic of Korea Air Force
  • Turkish Air Force
  • Israeli Air Force
  • Serbian Air Force
  • Royal Saudi Air Force
  • United Arab Emirates Air Force
  • Royal Netherlands Air Force
Related Armament

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