Mk82 General Purpose Bomb
The MK-82 is a free-fall, nonguided general purpose [GP] 500-pound bomb. The bomb is usually equipped with the mechanical M904 (nose) and M905 (tail) fuzes or the radar-proximity FMU-113 air-burst fuze. The MK 80 series Low Drag General Purpose (LDGP) bombs are used in the majority of bombing operations where maximum blast and explosive effects are desired. LDGP bombs are designed to be aerodynamically streamlined. Their cases are relatively light and approximately 45 percent of their complete weight is explosive. General purpose bombs may use both nose and tail fuzes and conical or retarded tail fins.
The MK82 AIR is a 500 pound bomb modified with a BSU-49/B high drag tail assembly. The "ballute" air bag which deploys from the tail provides a high speed, low altitude delivery capability by quickly slowing the bomb and allowing the aircraft to escape the blast pattern. The tail assembly consists of a low-drag canister unit containing a ballute (combination balloon and parachute), and a release lanyard assembly that opens the canister releasing the ballute. The ballute assembly is made from high strength low porosity nylon fabric. When the bomb is released from the aircraft a lanyard unlatches the back cover which opens, releasing part of the nylon bag/retarder. Air turbulence at the rear of the bomb acts on that portion of the retarder, pulling the remainder out of the housing. Ram air inflation is accomplished through four air inlet ports toward the aft end of the ballute. The weapon can be delivered in the low-drag mode (canister remains closed after release) or in the high drag mode. The pilot may select either a high drag or low drag configuration depending on mission requirements.
The MK-80 series was developed in the 1950s in response to the need for bombs producing less aerodynamic drag. All MK-80 series bombs are similar in construction. MK-80 series bombs are cylindrical in shape and are equipped with conical fins or retarders for external high-speed carriage. They are fitted for both nose and tail fuzes to ensure reliability and produce effects of blast, cratering, or fragmentation. During Desert Storm the MK-80 series of bombs were dropped from literally every fixed-wing aircraft that supported the ground offensive. The bombs were used against a wide variety of targets, including artillery, trucks, bunkers, Scuds, surface-to-air missile sites, antiaircraft artillery sites, early warning radars, and supply points.
Some bombs are thermally protected for use on aircraft carriers. The thermally protected MK 80 series bomb was developed to increase the cookoff time and decrease the reaction of bombs when engulfed in a fuel fire. The MK 82 and MK 83 series LDGP bombs underwent a Product Improvement Initiative (PII) which entailed filling the bomb cases with a less sensitive explosive. When so filled the MK 82 and MK 83 bombs are redesignated BLU-111/B and BLU-110/B, respectively.