Precision timing: Exploring smart bomb technologies

Using air-to-ground missiles is becoming increasingly difficult as trends in the proliferation of modern integrated air defence systems and layered defences, the use of the electronic spectrum and jamming for protection plus the congested ground environment make it harder to find, track, identify and destroy ground targets from the air.

Longer range surface-to-air missile (SAM) defences in particular mean that attacking aircraft armed with air-to-ground missiles can be pushed back further away from their intended targets and held at distance.

A2G bomb
A 250lb GBU-39 small diameter bomb attaches to a bomb rack unit that holds up to four SDBs, allowing the airframe to increase its payload exponentially
USAF

By increasing the risk to the aircraft, it means that either the aircraft need to be stealthy to operate safely within the range of ground-based air defence missile systems, or the missiles themselves need to have longer range. This means aircraft can stay at a safe operating distance when firing the missiles.

 

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