The Durandal anti-runway bomb was developed by the French company MATRA, designed solely for the purpose of destroying runways. Once the parachute-retarded low-level drop bomb attains a nose-down attitude, it fires a rocket booster that penetrates the runway surface, and a delayed explosion buckles a portion of the runway. It can penetrate up to 40 centimeters of concrete, creating a 200 square meter crater causing damage more difficult to repair than the crater of a general-purpose bomb.
An evaluation of the unique Durandal "runway-buster" motor was performed at the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory beginning in 1982. The 20th Fighter Wing first tested the Durandal runway-buster bombs during Exercise Red Flag in January and February 1988. During the 1991 Gulf War the 20th Fighter Wing, flew F-111Es from Turkey, initially in low level night attacks on airfields, using the Durandal anti-runway weapon. 20th Wing flight commander Captain George Kelman said "there is nothing better at destroying a runway than a Durandal."
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|