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GBU-24 Paveway III: Wikis

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Raytheon GBU-24 Family

GBU-24 xxl.jpg
GBU-24 Paveway III
Primary Function: 2,000 lb (1,066 kg) unpowered guided weapon
Length: 14 ft 2in (4.32 m)
Diameter: 14.6 in (370 mm)
Range: More than 10 nm (18.4 km)
A laser-guided GBU-24 (BLU-109 warhead variant) strikes its target.

The GBU-24 is a family of laser-guided bombs, a sub-group of the larger Raytheon Paveway III family of weapons. The Paveway guidance package consists of a seeker package attached to the nose of the weapon, and a wing kit attached to the rear to provide stability and greater range.

Warhead options consist of:

  • Mk. 84 - 2000lb General Purpose
  • BLU-109 - 2000lb Penetrator
  • BLU-116 - Advanced Unitary Penetrator
  • CPE-800 - Used in the BPG-2000, a similar, indigenous Spanish weapon

Compared to the GBU-10 family, or the Paveway II family, the GBU-24 glides further as a result of more efficient guidance technology. The Paveway III guidance kit is more expensive, however, making the GBU-24 suitable against well-defended, high-value targets. It was introduced into service c. 1983. This weapon is in service with the USAF, US Navy, US Marine Corps, and various NATO air forces.

The bomb requires a spot of pulse-coded laser energy to home on; this can be supplied by the delivery aircraft, another aircraft (Buddy Lasing), a UAV, or by a Ground Laser Designator. After release from the delivery aircraft, the thermal battery for the Guidance Computer Group fires to supply power; the arming wire for the fuse is withdrawn; the wings are released; and depending on the configuration, either the turbine generator or the safety switch (for an electric fuse) is activated.

Once this has happened, the seeker guides the bomb toward the designated impact point. If the laser illumination is lost, the bomb stops guiding and follows a roughly ballistic path, although interference from the guidance kit can lead to the weapon wandering off course. While the GBU-24 is guided, it is not a powered weapon, i.e. it has no propulsion. Its range, therefore, depends on aircraft speed, altitude, wind speed, etc. The GBU-24 is precise enough to be able to fly down ventilation shafts into hardened targets, although accuracy is usually dependent on the ability to point the laser correctly rather than the bomb's ability to hit the impact point. The GBU-24 is cleared on aircraft such as the F-15E, F-16A MLU, F-16C Block 40/42, F-16C Block 50/52 CCIP, F/A-18, Panavia Tornado, Eurofighter, Mirage 2000 and F-111C AUP.[1]

References

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