Thursday, September 3, 2009
GBU-28 Bunker Busting Bomb
We had a small problem way back in 1990 when H.W. Bush was figuring out how to knock the hell out of Saddam Hussein and Baathist Iraq. In addition to a well orchestrated air defense system, the Iraqi army had dug dozens of very deep reinforced concrete bunkers.
Weapons engineers knew they needed a bomb that could power through several meters of sand, concrete, and re bar and still have the explosive ability to destroy a high value target. It also needed to be accurate enough to strike the bunkers with a single air strike.
And thus the Guided Bomb Unit-28 was born.
The GBU-28 is a 5,000lb laser guided bomb, designers based the weapon on repurposed
8 inch artillery gun barrels, mostly from unused M110 howitzers. Only 2 of these weapons were actually used, both dropped by F-111s. The bomb can "see" the reflected energy from a laser designator and "rides" the laser beam into the target .
The GBU-28 proved capable of penetrating over 30 metres (100 ft) of earth or 6 metres (20 ft) of solid concrete. Fully deep enough to destroy most any bunker. It is unique in that the total development time from conception to the first drop test took only 2 weeks, and the weapon went into active service after only one test drop.