BLU-109 bomb

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BLU-109 aboard F-15E.jpg
A BLU-109 aboard an F-15E Strike Eagle configured as a JDAM
TypeFree-fall penetration bomb (guided when equipped as JDAM or Paveway)
Place of originUnited States
Mass1,927 lb (874 kg)
Length7 ft 11 in (2.4 m)
Diameter14.6 in (370 mm)
A BLU-109 aboard a General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon configured as a JDAM

The BLU-109/B is a hardened penetration bomb used by the United States Air Force (BLU is an acronym for Bomb Live Unit). As with other "bunker busters", it is intended to smash through concrete shelters and other hardened structures before exploding. In addition to the US, it is part of the armament of the air forces of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates.[1]


The BLU-109/B has a steel casing about 1 inch (25.4 mm) thick, filled with 530 lb (240 kg) of Tritonal. It has a delayed-action tail-fuze. The BLU-109 entered service in 1985. It is also used as the warhead of some marks of the GBU-15 electro-optically guided bomb, the GBU-27 Paveway III laser-guided bomb, and the AGM-130 rocket-boosted weapon. This weapon can penetrate 4–6 feet of reinforced concrete,[2] which is greater than the 3 foot capability of the Small Diameter Bomb.[3] The BLU-109 is not likely to be retired anytime soon, due to the much larger blast capable from its warhead.[citation needed]


The BLU-118 is reportedly a thermobaric explosive filler variation on the BLU-109 casing and basic bomb design.[4] It contains PBXIH-135, a traditional explosive.[5]

In 2015 GD started a $7.2 million development of a version called HAMMER, which is intended to destroy chemical and biological substances by spreading dozens of Kinetic Fireballs Incendiaries (KFI) (not explosions) inside a bunker. The KFIs have evolved out of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program by Exquadrum, Inc. of Adelanto, CA.[6]

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The BLU-109 has been sold to key US allies including South Korea, Israel, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Turkey[7]


  1. ^ Forecast International (2004). BLU-116/B, page 4. Accessed 12 May 2011.
  2. ^ "BLU-109 / I-2000 / HAVE VOID". Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Small Diameter Bomb". Boeing. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  4. ^ "BLU-118/B Thermobaric Weapon". Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  5. ^ Little, Robert. "A race to get a new bomb for cave war". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  6. ^ Drew, James. "Pentagon taps General Dynamics to test fireball bunker bomb"
  7. ^ The Most “Political” of All Bombs.

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