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Guided Bomb Unit-27 (GBU-27)

The Guided Bomb Unit-27 (GBU-27) is a GBU-24 modified for delivery by the F-117 stealth fighter. The operator illuminates a target with a laser designator and then the munition guides to a spot of laser energy reflected from the target. It uses a 2,000-pound penetrating warhead against hard targets. The GBU-27 was used in Operation Desert Storm. According to the Air Force, the GBU-27 hit 70 percent of its targets.

The GBU-27 was designed specifically for use by the F-117's advanced target acquisition/designator system. The GBU-27 uses a BLU-109 improved performance 2,000 pound bomb developed in 1985 under the project name HAVE VOID. The BLU-109 was designed for use against hardened structures and features a high-strength forged steel case and a new delayed-action tail fuze. It carries 550 pounds of high explosives and can penetrate more than six feet of reinforced concrete.

The GBU-27 uses a modified Paveway II guidance control unit which provides "terminal trajectory shaping" for optimum impact angle against various target structures. For example, it will hit an aircraft shelter with a vertical impact, but make a horizontal approach to a bridge support. A Paveway II tail assembly with folding wings completes the bomb.

The F-117 can carry two GBU-27s in two weapons bays and is reportedly capable of hitting a one square meter target from an altitude of 25,000 feet.

In March 1999 teams from Raytheon Missile Systems, Lockheed Martin and Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, convened at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, to test the compatibility of the Enhanced Guided Bomb Unit-27 with the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. The tests included the examination of loading and assembly procedures of the Raytheon bomb and the writing and rewriting of technical orders. The $110,000 bomb weighs 2,000 pounds and gives the Air Force an all-weather precision strike capability by linking the existing laser guidance system with the Inertial Navigation and Global Positioning Systems and will use the MARK-84 or the BLU 109 bomb.

Mission Close air support, interdiction, offensive counter air, naval anti- surface warfare
Targets Mobile hard, fixed hard, fixed soft
Service Air Force
Program status Operational
First capability 1987
Guidance method Laser (man-in-the-loop)
Range Greater than 10 nautical miles
Development cost Not available - Air Force officials state that development cost was not available because they do not have records covering the development period.
Production cost $176.715 million
Total acquisition cost Not available
Acquisition unit cost Not available
Production unit cost $55,000 - $110,000
Quantity 3,213
Platform F-117. F-16

GBU-27 GBU-27 GBU-27 GBU-27


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Page last modified: 06-12-2017 17:40:35 ZULU