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KAB-500 (1500) family

One prime asset produced by the Russian military-industrial complex is the KAB-500 laser-guided bomb, which was initially developed by the Soviet Air Force and combines high accuracy with high destructive power. While simple unguided aviation bombs like those used in World War II were in effect localized weapons of mass destruction, dropped from a great height and devastating large swathes of ground, these modern counterparts work fundamentally differently. Pr-E / F-E / OD-E have television correlation homing system, while providing bombing circular error probable of 4 meters.

Even when dropped from high altitude, guided bombs can deviate from the vertical path to the target by as much as 5 miles (8 km), allowing the aircraft to operate at a distance from the enemy and avoid the risk of direct contact. It was the KAB-500 that was credited in late 2015 with the targeted destruction of a factory in Syria that allegedly produced home-made explosive devices for militant forces.

The KAB-500Kr, KAB-500-OD, KAB-1500Kr corrected air bombs make part of weapon systems of such front-line aircraft types as Su-27, Su-30, Su-34, Su24M, MIG-29 and others.

  • The KAB-500Kr corrected air bomb is designed to engage stationary ground/surface small-sized hardened targets, such as reinforced concrete shelters, runways, railway and highway bridges, military industrial installations, warships, and transport vessels.
  • The KAB-500-OD corrected air bomb is designed to engage ground targets, such as fire emplacemnts, and manpower hidden in mountainous terrains. KAB-500-od is different from the KAB-500Kr type warhead.
  • The KAB-1500Kr corrected air bomb is designed to engage various stationary ground/surface small-sized hardened targets, such as reinforced concrete shelters, military industrial installations, depots, and seaport terminals.

The delivery set can be completed with the KAB-500Kr-U training bomb used for pilots' mastering combat employment skills for KAB-500Kr, KAB-500-OD and KAB-1500Kr corrected air bombs. The KAB-500Kr-U training bomb parameters are as follows: weight - 85kg, length 1,83m, diameter - 0,35m.

The Su-27/30 Flanker and Su-34 Fullback are cleared to raise up to 6 KAB-500 or 3 KAB-1500 on wing tations 3 and 4, the entrance stations 9 and 10, and the center line tandem stations 1 and 2. KAB-500 is brought on an adapter BD-3U, the KAB-1500 on an adapter BD4. The pod datalink APK-9E Tekon, used for some variants, is performed on the input station 9, as well as the Thales Damocles Thermal imaging / laser targeting pod, which has already been supplied to Malaysia for the Su-30MKM Flanker.

A normal Su-24 Fencer attack sequence begins with the crew flying towards a known target, using the on-board navigation systems. The weapon systems officer then refines the target location using radar or infrared (IR) sensors. These sensors cannot detect targets hidden behind shadows caused by intervening terrain or obstacles. Small point targets, or aim points in complex urban environments are particularly difficult to detect.

If the target is not identifiable on the sensor, the pilot can release the bomb on coordinates. The computer constantly updates the release point, based on the weapon’s ballistic characteristics and the aircraft’s flight data. However, without global positioning systems (GPS) updates to the aircraft navigation systems, this technique may result in significant miss-distances.

This may explain the reports of Russian “carpet bombing.” Gusty winds and high altitude releases, typical in mountainous terrain, further degrade the accuracy of system deliveries. After the pilot gives consent by depressing the “pickle button,” the aircraft’s bombing computer releases the weapon.

Proficient Fencer aircrews using computed deliveries should normally place bombs within 200 feet of the target in any weather. To improve the odds of destroying the target, the crew may release multiple weapons, singularly or in pairs, sequentially to form a “string” of bombs. Ideally, this pattern will intersect the target and one or more weapons will achieve the desired results. The remaining weapons, impacting off-target, may cause serious collateral damage.

On 29 December 1994 the Su-24M bomber with KAB-500L scored direct hits and destroyed the dam to the south of the village of Chechen-Aul. At the beginning of January 1995 the Su-24M bombers with bombs KAB-1500L destroyed two road bridges over the river Argun, east of Grozny, which was used to carry out transfer of reinforcements militants in the war zone. Precision weapons were used against small targets in the city. After a brief cease-fire, Federal forces captured Vedeno. The Russian Air Force supported the attack on Vedeno with precision bombing and close air support. Using laser-guided bombs, Su-24s destroyed the rebel headquarters and radio station.

Developer and manufacturer: State Research and Production Enterprise "Region"
 Weights: total/warhead/HE, kg
 length, m
 diameter, m
 empennage, m
 0,85 (folded)
 1,3 unfolded
 Bomb drop altitude, km
 Carrier speed, km/h
 Root mean square deviation, m
 Warhead type
 high explosive
 high explosive
 (high explosive


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