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Guided Bomb Unit-10 (GBU-10)
Paveway II

The Guided Bomb Unit-10 (GBU-10) utilizes the 2,000-pound general purpose or penetrating warhead. The operator illuminates a target with a laser designator and then the munition guides to a spot of laser energy reflected from the target. The GBU-10 consists of an MK-84 2,000 pound bomb with an added laser guidance package. The GBU-1OI mates a BLU-109B weapon with a Paveway II laser guidance kit. This improved 2,000-pound bomb is used against targets requiring deeper penetration.

In March 1965, the Doumer Bridge, across the Red River in North Vietnam, contained four of five major rail lines which came together to cross it from the North. All supplies moving by rail from China and the port of Haiphong had to cross the Doumer Bridge, as did large volumes of truck traffic.

The North Vietnamese knew it was important. They defended the bridge with 300 AAA positions, 85 SAM sites (each with 4-6 missiles), and MiG fighters at several near-by bases. During 1967, American Airmen risked their lives many times to challenge these defenses and attack the bridge. During nine separate bombing missions that year, we committed hundreds of Airmen, hundreds of aircraft, and an overwhelming amount of munitions against this single target.

Although those Airmen destroyed spans of the bridge, the North Vietnamese rebuilt it relatively quickly. Because most of our bombs missed the superstructure, the longest it was ever out of commission was two months. After the last attack in December, 1967, we didn't go back to it for almost five years.

It was this very reality - the imposing structure of the bridge, the colossal effort to destroy it, and, most importantly, the incredible and repetitive risk to the lives of our Airmen - that energized industry to produce technological innovation. After seeing the American effort and wanting results at Doumer Bridge, Rockwell International Corporation developed the first modern electro-optical guided bomb dubbed the GBU-8 in 1967 and later developed its follow-on-the Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) called the GBU-10 Paveway II in 1968.

When the Americans finally returned to the Doumer Bridge in May, 1972, they returned to it as a transformed Air Force equipped to meet the challenge of such a daunting target. During two separate attacks in that year, it only took sixteen F-4s equipped with new 2,000 pound GBU-10 LGBs to put the bridge out of commission until the end of the air campaign in Vietnam. After the war, it took the North Vietnamese over seven months to rebuild it. During 1972, new precision guided bombs were employed against other targets in the North with the same success.

The munition was used during Operation Desert Storm, and, according to the Air Force, hit 78 percent of its targets. In Operation Desert Storm, GBU-10/10Is were used extensively by F-15Es and F-111Fs mainly against bridges, Scuds, C3I (command, control, communications, intelligence) nodes, and bunkers. Of the 2,637 expended,'44 over one-third were dropped by F-111Fs, and the rest by F-117s, F-15Es, and Navy and Marine Corps aircraft.

There are two generations of GBU-10 LGBs: Paveway I, which has been retired, with fixed wings and Paveway II with folding wings. Paveway II models have the following improvements: detector optics and housing made of injection-molded plastic to reduce weight and cost; increased detector sensitivity; reduced thermal battery delay after release; increased maximum canard deflection; laser coding; folding wings for carriage, and increased detector field of view. Paveway II's instantaneous field of view is thirty percent greater than that of the Paveway I's field of view.

Class2000 lb. Paveway I & II Laser Guided Weapons
Mission Air interdiction
Targets Mobile hard, fixed soft, fixed hard
Service Air Force, Navy
Program status Operational
First capability 1976
Guidance method Laser (man-in-the-loop)
ControlMAU-157 Series (Paveway l)
MAU-169 Series (Paveway II)
AutopilotBang-Bang Mode
Weight (lbs.)2562
Length (in.) 172
Diameter (in.) 15/18 (Warhead)
28 (Airfoil Group)
WarheadBLU-109 penetrator
MK 84; Blast/Fragmentation
Explosive (NEW)535 lbs. Tritonal [BLU-109]
945 lbs. Tritonal [MK 84]
FuzeFMU-81 N/T
Range 8 nautical miles
Circular error probable 9 meters
Quantity Air Force: 10,145
Navy: 1,184
Development cost Air Force officials state that they could not provide development cost for the munition because they do not have records covering the development period.
Production cost Air Force: $240.436 million
Navy: $30.902 million
Total acquisition cost Not available
Acquisition unit cost Not available
Production unit cost Air Force: $23,700
Navy: $26,100
Platforms A-7, A-10, B-52, F-111, F-117, F-15E, F- 16 , F/A-18 C/D, A-6, F-14

GBU-10 GBU-10 GBU-10 GBU-10

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Page last modified: 06-12-2017 17:40:36 ZULU