Air-deployed LUU-2 high-intensity illumination flare are used to illuminate targets. The LUU-2B Flare has a light output rating of 1.8 x 10(6) candlepower and at 1,000 feet altitude illuminates a circle on the ground of 500 meters at 5 lux. The LUU-2 is housed in a pod or canister and is deployed by ejection. The mechanism has a timer on it that deploys the parachute and ignites the flare candle. The flare candle burns magnesium which burns at high temperature emitting an intense bright white light. The consumption of the aluminum cylinder that contains the flare "candle" may add some orange to the light. The LUU-2 flare enhances a pilot's ability to see targets while using Night Vision Goggles. With the introduction of A-10 Warthog Night Vision capability, such flares are not used as frequently as in the past as they provide too much light for the very sensitive goggles. Flares burn at uneven rates and therefore fluctuate in brightness.
The LUU-2 has a burn time of approximately 5 minutes while suspended from a parachute. The pyrotechnic candle consumes the flare housing, reducing flare weight which in turn slows the rate of fall during the last 2 minutes of burn time. At candle burnout an explosive bolt is fired, releasing one parachute support cable which causes the parachute to collapse. While unburned flares falling from high altitude could be dangerous, burned flares are much less dangerous since they are designed to burn up during the fall (even the aluminum casing is burned).
The LUU-2B/B flare is the latest in a series of illuminating flares introduced by Thiokol for nighttime target illumination and rescue missions. Designated as a multi service flare by United States military forces, the LUU-2B/B incorporates improvements and modifications that further enhance its performance and reliability. The LUU-2B/B has been selected by over 30 foreign countries for aircraft-deployed illumination.
The LUU-2B/B flare is compatible with all standard flare launching systems used on helicopter, cargo, and fighter aircraft. It can be deployed from LAU-74 cargo aircraft launchers, aircraft wing-mounted racks, and the SUU-25, 42, and 44 series launchers. It can also be hand launched from aircraft. Developed to meet stringent U.S. military requirements for operational safety and reliability, the LUU-2B/B uses advanced design and materials concepts derived from aerospace technology. The LUU-2B/B is accepted by the Navy for use on carrier-based aircraft.
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