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

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.


Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below