USAF shows how “you can run but you can’t hide” from JTACs
(Video by Airman 1st Class Olivia Grooms and Airman 1st Class Dylan Murakami)
Able to strike from a distance and hit targets with a level of precision that lowers the chance of collateral damage, the GBU-39 is a unique weapon.
Sporting retractable wings that allow it to glide to its target, the GBU-39 is effectively a 205 lb bomb equipped with a GPS-guided navigation system, and the aforementioned wings allow the bomb to hit with 16-26 foot accuracy margin of error.
First developed in 2001, it would not be until October of 2006 that the GBU-39 would be used in combat. Since then, it has been used by the US and several allies, including Israel and the Netherlands.
The big selling point for the GBU-39 is “controlled violence.” Able to hit smaller targets with a small blast radius, the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB for short), allows precision strikes to be carried out without having to rack up unneeded casualties.
The SDB is currently fielded by the F-15E Strike Eagle, Panavia Tornado, JAS-39 Gripen, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22 Raptor, and AC-130W, and there are plans to equip it to the F-35 Lightning II, A-10 Thunderbolt II, B-1 Lancer, B-2 Spirit, B-52 Stratofortress, and AC-130J.
The SDB has also been modified to work with the M270 Multiple Rocket Launch System, an armored, self-propelled, multiple rocket launcher that is used by US allies worldwide.
If you’re a terrorist in the line of sight of a US Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC), you can run, but you can’t hide from and USAF aircraft equipped with a GBU-39.
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