Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Graphite Bomb/ Blackout Bomb

Here we have the BLU-114 Graphite Bomb (also known as the "Soft Bomb"). It is designed to decrease enemy reaction times and capabilities ( such as air defense) by destroying electrical power grids. Graphite bombs work by spreading a cloud of extremely fine, chemically-treated carbon filaments over electrical components, causing a short-circuit and a disruption of the electrical supply. The filaments are only a few hundredths of an inch thick and can float in the air like a dense cloud.
The graphite bomb was first used against Baathist Iraq in the Persian Gulf War (1990 - 1991), knocking out 85% of the electrical supply.

In May 1999 the much improved "BLU-114/B" graphite bomb was used by NATO forces in Serbia, disabling nearly 70% of their power grid. At the time, they had never been revealed to the public and they were delivered to target by F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighters. However, Serbian technicians were able to restore service in under 24 hours. The BLU-114/B was again used a few days later to counter Serbian efforts to restore damage caused by the initial attack. As the graphite filaments only work on power lines that are not insulated, NATO commanders expanded the attacks to include conventional munitions strikes on transformer stations and high voltage transmission lines later in the operation.

Most recently, it was used in the Iraq war to cut radio contact on an Al Qaeda outpost outside of Baghdad on December 15, 2007.

The sub munitions are released from a SUU-66/B Tactical Munitions Dispenser normally associated with the delivery of the terminally guided BLU-108/B submunitions carried on the CBU-97/CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon. The unguided used in these systems is typically delivered with a circular error probable of a few hundred feet. Other more precise weapon delivery systems such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition do not appear readily adaptable to existing submunition dispenser systems, though such an application would not constitute an overly challenging engineering problem.

1 comment:

  1. Carbon filament huh ? What about all the wittle adorable ducks and otters in Iran's many and varied lake system that swallow this stuff ?