Special Report

The Bombs and Missiles Used by the US Military

Source: myhrcat / E+ via Getty Images

16. CBU-107 PAW
> Bomb type: Area weapon
> Service branch user(s): U.S. Air Force
> Made by: General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and Textron

The CBU-107 PAW – Passive Attack Weapon – is a non explosive weapon for use on sensitive targets – such as WMD stockpiles. The weapon works by gliding toward its target, and, before impact, it begins to spin and emit nearly 4,000 metal projectiles that can penetrate targets within 200 feet. The projectiles come in varying sizes – there are about 350 15-inch metal rods, 1,000 7-inch metal rods, and 2,400 nail-size metal rods.

The weapon was used during operation Iraqi Freedom and is carried by B-52 bombers as well as F-15 and F-16 fighters.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

17. Evolved Seasparrow Missile Block 1 (ESSM) (RIM 162D)
> Bomb type: Surface-to-air and surface-to-surface radar-guided missile
> Service branch user(s): U.S. Navy
> Made by: Raytheon

The Evolved Seasparrow Missile Block 1 (ESSM) (RIM 162D) is a medium-range, semi-active homing missile designed for ship self defense – either against enemy cruise missiles or certain aircraft, such as helicopters.

The missile system is used by the U.S. Navy on a number of surface vessels, including DDG 51 and DDG 1000 destroyers, as well as by several other nations such as Australia, Denmark, Germany, and Thailand. Depending on the configuration, the unit price of these missiles ranges from $787,000 to $972,000.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

18. GBU-10/12/49 Paveway II
> Bomb type: Precision-guided air-to-surface weapon
> Service branch user(s): U.S. Air Force
> Made by: Lockheed Martin and Raytheon

The Paveway II is a laser-guided, free-fall bomb that cam be equipped with warheads of varying sizes. The GBU-10 is a 2,000 pound general bomb typically used for non-hardened targets. The GBU-12 and the GBU-49 are both a 500 pound bomb, but the former is used against stationary armored targets and the latter is also equipped with GPS for precision all-weather use against moving targets.

Paveway IIs are currently fitted onto B-1 and B-2 bombers, as well as F-15, F-16, and F-35 fighters and Reaper drones.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

19. GBU-24/28 Paveway III
> Bomb type: Precision-guided air-to-surface weapon
> Service branch user(s): U.S. Air Force
> Made by: Raytheon

GBU-24 and 28 Paveway IIIs are free-fall bombs that offer greater precision than Paveway II bombs. With third-generation laser guidance, Paveway IIIs can deliver their payload from virtually any altitude.

The GBU 24 warhead is a 2,000 pound bomb penetrating warhead, and the GBU 28 warhead is a 5,000 pound warhead designed specifically for deeply buried and hardened facilities in Iraq. Both weapons have been integrated onto the B-52 bomber and F-15 fighter, while the F-16 is eqipped only for the GBU-24, and the B-2 bomber only for the GBU-28.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

20. GBU-31/32/38 JDAM
> Bomb type: Precision-guided air-to-surface weapon
> Service branch user(s): U.S. Air Force, Navy
> Made by: Boeing, Textron, and Honeywell

The GBU-31/32/38 Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM, is a GPS guided all-weather surface attack bomb. JDAM-class weapons are the most commonly used air-to-ground combat weapons in the U.S. military.

The GBU 31 variant carries a 2,000 pound warhead, while the GBU 32 carries a 1,000 pound warhead. Each variant is carried by a range of bombers and fighters, including the B-52H, B-2A, B-1B, F-15E, F-16, and F-22A. The GBU 38 variant, meanwhile, packs a 500 pound payload and is carried by the MQ-9 Reaper drone.

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