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Gbu-27

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Gbu-27

GBU-27 Paveway III
Primary function: 2,000 pound (900 kg) unpowered, hard target laser guided weapon
Length: 13 ft 10 in (4.2 m)
Diameter: 2 ft 4 in (711 mm)
Wingspan: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Range: More than 10 nautical miles (19 km)

The GBU-27 Paveway III (Guided Bomb Unit) is a laser-guided bomb with bunker buster capabilities, it is a GBU-24 Paveway III (fitted on the warhead of the Mark 84 bomb) that has been redesigned to be used by the F-117A Nighthawk stealth ground attack aircraft. The pilots flying over Iraq during the first gulf war nicknamed it the "Hammer",[1] for its considerable destructive power and blast radius.[1]

Combat history

The GBU-27 was used in Operation Desert Storm. It was the weapon used in the February 13, 1991 attack on the Amiriyah shelter, which resulted in the deaths of more than 400 Iraqi civilians. It was also used in a series of strikes on the Muthanna State Enterprise site during February 1991, which the U.S. military falsely identified as the heart of the Iraqi chemical weapons production infrastructure.[2]

The first foreign sale of the GBU-27 was the acquisition by Israel of 500 units equipped with BLU-109 penetrating warheads, authorized in September 2004. (Raas and Long 2006) Delivery of such precision guided weaponry was accelerated at the request of Israel in July 2006, though the exact munition were not specified. Israeli Defense Forces officials state that other precision-guided munitions have been used to attack Hezbollah facilities in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.[3] However, the bunker busting technology in the GBU-27 could be directed, according Israeli military sources, at Iran or possibly Syria.[4]

As of 2011 the UK's RAF have also ordered the GBU-27 for use in Libya.[5]

See also

References

Notes
Bibliography
  • Whitney Raas and Austin Long, Osirak Redux? Assessing Israeli Capabilities to Destroy Iranian Nuclear Facilities, MIT Security Studies Program Working Paper, April 2006.

External links

  • FAS
  • Raytheon (Texas Instruments) Paveway III - Designation Systems
  1. REDIRECT Template:USAF equipment
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