Military Review

United States anti-bunker bombs

26
United States anti-bunker bombs
F-15 fighter-bomber dropping a GBU-28 bomb



Over the past decades, the Pentagon has paid attention to the development and production aviation bombs designed to destroy the protected buried objects of the enemy. To date, a fairly wide range of penetrating warheads and bombs based on them has been created. Such weapon compatible with tactical and strategic aircraft, thereby achieving high application flexibility.

Tactical level


Work on modern penetration/bunker bombs actually began in the mid-eighties. Their first result soon became the BLU-109/B. It was a 2 lb (900 kg) unguided bomb intended for use by tactical fighters and/or bombers.

The BLU-109/B is built in a rugged forged steel case with walls no less than 1 inch thick. 250 kg of explosive were placed in the inner cavity. Provided for the bottom fuse, triggered with a given delay. With optimal release parameters, the bomb develops high speed when it falls and acquires significant energy. Due to it, the product can penetrate 1,8 m of reinforced concrete or several meters of soil.


The fall and detonation of the GBU-24 bomb with the BLU-109/B warhead

Subsequently, the warhead of the BLU-109 / B bomb was used as part of other ammunition. With its help, they created penetrating modifications of guided bombs GBU-10 Paveway II, GBU-23 and GBU-27 Paveway III, etc. The means of guidance of these ammunition made it possible to maximize the potential of the warhead.

In the nineties, based on the BLU-109 / B product, the BLU-116 / B bomb was developed. For her, an updated case was created from a more durable alloy based on nickel and depleted uranium. While maintaining the same mass and wall thickness, such a body made it possible to break through up to 3,4 m of reinforced concrete and then undermine the bunker. The warhead of the new type could be used both in the form of an unguided bomb and on adjustable ammunition.

The BLU-109/B bomb was also made on the basis of BLU-118/B. It has a similar body, but is equipped with a thermobaric warhead. A charge weighing 254 kg more effectively hits manpower and various objects inside a buried target.

In recent years, the BLU-109 / B bombs have been gradually replaced with new BLU-137 / B bombs. As in previous projects, proven technical solutions were used in its creation, but they were implemented using new materials and components. Due to this, a certain increase in characteristics was obtained.


Bomb GBU-57 and its creators

A special place in the arsenals is occupied by the B61 Mod.11 ammunition. This is a tactical thermonuclear bomb with a variable yield from 10 to 340 kt. The reinforced body provides penetration of several meters of soil or reinforced concrete. According to various sources, in this respect, the B61 Mod.11 is similar to the non-nuclear BLU-116 / B. A few years ago, work on a new modification of Mod.12 was completed. It features improved accuracy and penetration.

Large caliber


A curious example of a penetrating bomb appeared during Operation Desert Storm, and it took only a few weeks to develop it. So, after the start of hostilities, it turned out that the BLU-109 / B product could not hit some enemy targets. In this regard, the Pentagon ordered the urgent development of a new ammunition, which received the GBU-28 index.

Such a bomb had a caliber of 5 thousand pounds (2270 kg) and carried 286 kg of explosive. Durable cases for the first batch of weapons were made from 203-mm howitzer barrels from storage. In the future, a specially designed hardened case went into the series. Such a warhead was designated as BLU-113/B. It was proposed to supplement it with a laser or satellite homing head. In tests, both variants of the GBU-28 bomb showed the ability to penetrate at least 6,7 m of reinforced concrete.

GBU-28 aerial bombs were used to a limited extent in military operations. At the same time, they demonstrated the capabilities of heavier ammunition, and it was decided to develop new products in this caliber. To improve the combat qualities, it was proposed to use new means of guidance, as well as to expand the range of carriers. So, some of the new bombs were intended for B-2 and B-52 bombers.


Thermonuclear bomb B61 Mod.12 on trials

In the mid-nineties, the GBU-37 bomb appeared. It was a deeply modernized version of the previous GBU-28 and used a similar BLU-113/B warhead. It was supplemented by a modern GOS based on satellite navigation with improved accuracy. Due to this, the potential of the warhead was more fully realized.

Since the beginning of the 57s, an even more powerful anti-bunker munition has been developed, which later received the GBU-6,2 index. This product is approx. 800 m with a diameter of 30 mm. Caliber - 13,6 thousand pounds (about 2,4 tons) with a charge of 60 tons. Due to its large dimensions, such a bomb can only be used by long-range bombers. The ability to penetrate to a depth of more than XNUMX m is declared. Guidance is used using the GPS system.

To date, the GBU-57 bomb has gone through several upgrades. Their goal was to increase the parameters of penetration, hit accuracy and power of the warhead.

Perspective development


With the development of designs and the introduction of new materials, the combat qualities of penetrating bombs gradually grew. In just a couple of decades, American gunsmiths managed to increase penetration to tens of meters. However, such successes did not lead to a stop in the direction. The development of new ammunition for the destruction of buried structures continues.


Promising ammunition GBU-72

The reason for such work is the success of materials science in the field of construction. In recent decades, new reinforced concrete compositions with increased resistance to kinetic damage have been found. To do this, a variety of fillers are introduced into the concrete mixture, such as thin metal wire or larger particles. Known experiments show a sharp increase in strength in comparison with "ordinary" reinforced concrete.

In order to develop existing aerial bombs and in order to defeat more complex targets, the GBU-72 ammunition is now being developed. Last year, this bomb was tested and showed its characteristics for the first time. In the near future, it is planned to pass it through all stages and put it into service.

The GBU-72 is designated the Advanced 5K Penetrator, an improved 5-pound penetrating bomb. Outwardly, it is similar to previous anti-bunker ammunition, but differs in the material and design of the hull. An improvement in the main features has been announced, but the exact characteristics cannot yet be named.

According to various estimates, penetrating bombs have approached the peak of their capabilities, but their future is uncertain. Modern and advanced construction technologies and materials make it possible to once again strengthen the protection of buried objects. Whether it will be possible once again to bring the penetration of air bombs to the required level is unclear. In particular, some restrictions on development are imposed by the principle of accumulation of kinetic energy during a fall.


Experienced hypersonic missile AGM-183. Perhaps such a weapon will have anti-bunker functions.

Complementary for penetrating bombs, capable of hitting more complex and durable targets, can be various missile systems with appropriate warheads. Hypersonic systems have great prospects in this area. The hardened warhead of such a weapon will be able to penetrate a larger layer of soil and hit the concrete bunker under it.

At present, several hypersonic systems of one purpose or another are being developed in the United States at once. Whether they will also be used to fight bunkers is not yet clear. At the same time, the Pentagon is aware of the similar use of Russian hypersonic weapons - and is likely to draw conclusions.

Opportunities


Thus, the US tactical and long-range aviation has at its disposal a fairly wide range of bombs designed to destroy underground protected structures. The samples in service are compatible with different carriers and show different characteristics. This allows you to choose the optimal weapon for a specific target and optimize other aspects of the airstrike.

The development of anti-bunker bombs does not stop, and a new model will enter service in the foreseeable future. At the same time, the future prospects of this direction are not completely clear. Perhaps the Pentagon will continue to develop it and develop new and improved bombs. However, in the future they can be supplemented with more effective means of destruction, which will once again expand the combat capabilities of aviation.
Author:
Photos used:
US Department of Defense, Wikimedia Commons
26 comments
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  1. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U 22 September 2022 16: 04
    -9
    Bombs with such a range and height of application are completely useless against a developed enemy.
    1. Hitriy Zhuk
      Hitriy Zhuk 22 September 2022 16: 40
      +2
      Quote: Vladimir_2U
      against a developed opponent

      When did the US go to war with one?
      For the last 50 years this has not happened.
    2. Andrey Moskvin
      Andrey Moskvin 22 September 2022 16: 45
      +3
      What's wrong with the application height? And what's the range?
      1. Genry
        Genry 22 September 2022 17: 36
        +1
        Quote: Andrey Moskvin
        What's wrong with the application height? And what's the range?

        States have cruise missiles with similar functionality.
        And to fly up to an airplane with a bomb - here the question arises about the height and range. Height is the potential energy that passes into kinetic energy, which is spent on approaching in range - if the remainder of the kinetic energy is small, then the penetration will be insufficient (like a bullet).
        1. Andrey Moskvin
          Andrey Moskvin 22 September 2022 17: 43
          +1
          Cruise missiles with such penetrating power? belay
          For these penetrators, why the range, the more vertically it falls, the better.
        2. Vladimir_2U
          Vladimir_2U 23 September 2022 04: 09
          0
          Quote: Genry
          States have cruise missiles with similar functionality.

          I don’t remember with such armor-piercing.
      2. Vladimir_2U
        Vladimir_2U 23 September 2022 04: 08
        +1
        Quote: Andrey Moskvin
        What's wrong with the application height? And what's the range?

        Why can't you draw your own conclusion? Elementary, in this case. The drop distance is short and the drop height is high. The carrier in this case is an easy target for advanced air defense.
        1. Andrey Moskvin
          Andrey Moskvin 23 September 2022 04: 20
          0
          So no one bombs a strong enemy with free-falling ones. This is for the half-broken.
          I, unlike you, do not minus anyone.
          1. Vladimir_2U
            Vladimir_2U 23 September 2022 04: 22
            0
            Quote: Andrey Moskvin
            So no one bombs a strong enemy with free-falling ones. This is for the half-broken.
            I, unlike you, do not minus anyone.

            Then what was the question at all? I put a minus for the stupidity of the question.
            1. Andrey Moskvin
              Andrey Moskvin 23 September 2022 04: 42
              0
              Stupidity is about a cruise missile piercing many meters of concrete. hi
              1. Vladimir_2U
                Vladimir_2U 23 September 2022 05: 22
                0
                Quote: Andrey Moskvin
                Stupidity is about a cruise missile piercing many meters of concrete.

                I didn't write about this. hi
  2. Old ensign
    Old ensign 22 September 2022 16: 15
    +1
    Thanks to the author, great article!
  3. megadeth
    megadeth 22 September 2022 16: 47
    0
    I would like the author to give an example of our analogues, if they exist of course (I have not seen something) ...
    1. Vladimir61
      Vladimir61 22 September 2022 20: 54
      0
      Quote: megadeth
      I would like the author to give an example of our analogues, if they exist of course (I have not seen something) ...
      Since 2016 OCD "Drill", latest data as of 02.02.2021
      “We have made very serious progress in the past year in the production of corrected aerial bombs of the KAB series,” Boris Obnosov, general director of the Tactical Missile Weapons Corporation (KTRV), said last week in an interview with the Military Industrial Courier weekly. “Tests of a new generation have been completed. planning ammunition of calibers 250, 500 and 1500 kilograms, signed long-term contracts for their supply to the combat units of the Armed Forces. Serial production has begun."
      1. SincerityX
        SincerityX 27 September 2022 08: 14
        -1
        We still have BETABs just against bunkers, almost from the time of Stalin.
  4. bk0010
    bk0010 22 September 2022 16: 56
    -2
    A special place in the arsenals is occupied by the B61 Mod.11 ammunition. This is a tactical thermonuclear bomb with a variable yield from 10 to 340 kt. Hardened hull provides penetration of several meters of soil or reinforced concrete
    What for? These few meters will still evaporate (fall into the plasma ball) even at 10kT.
    The ability to penetrate to a depth of more than 60 m is declared.
    Does she have an excavator on board? 60 m is really a lot, it is deeper than many artesian wells.
    To do this, a variety of fillers are introduced into the concrete mixture, such as thin metal wire or larger particles.
    Wouldn't a bomb splitter be cheaper? Sharp grating in half gauge increments.
    In particular, some restrictions on development are imposed by the principle of accumulation of kinetic energy during a fall.
    You can insert a solid fuel booster into the tail of the bomb.
    1. vadim dok
      vadim dok 22 September 2022 17: 33
      0
      To destroy runways in 1967, Israel used similar bombs with tail rocket boosters.
    2. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 22 September 2022 22: 29
      -1
      "Does she have an excavator on board? 60 m is really a lot" ///
      ---
      She's got a rocket booster going off
      and she's screwed into the ground. Like a drill.
    3. NG inform
      NG inform 23 September 2022 21: 02
      0
      Show off, probably. They threw it on some clay soil.
  5. Dkuznecov
    Dkuznecov 22 September 2022 17: 56
    +2
    feet/meters, pounds/kilograms.
    The "author" would have to decide
    with a measuring system.
  6. iouris
    iouris 22 September 2022 18: 07
    0
    All this, of course, is interesting and informative, but if translated into a practical plane, it turns out that the "domestic military-industrial complex" did not provide. Isn't that why Donetsk is still being shelled?
  7. demiurg
    demiurg 22 September 2022 18: 10
    +2
    I saw a metal cable chopped and loosened into threads as a concrete hardener when they broke the old gold storage (built in the 50s) at a refinery. This is about new technologies.
  8. Aviator_
    Aviator_ 22 September 2022 20: 20
    0
    In the photo, where the GBU-57 and its creators, you can see that the bomb has lattice wings (our development of the 60s of the last century)
  9. Sasha from Uralmash
    Sasha from Uralmash 23 September 2022 20: 49
    0
    This is not what we are talking about! Are the authors of the site leading us away from pressing problems! In the light of recent years! They are not waiting for the last answer! So they are counting on something!
  10. Charik
    Charik 24 September 2022 07: 19
    0
    who did it let me guess.... laughing
  11. Drdim
    Drdim 25 September 2022 16: 42
    0
    Quote: Genry
    States have cruise missiles with similar functionality.

    An example is possible? go just wag your tongue? Go away, fool.