GBU-27 Paveway III
|GBU-27 Paveway III|
GBU-27 Paveway III
|Type||Laser guided bomb|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Unit cost||US $ 55,600|
|Weight||900 kg (2,000 lb)|
|Length||4.2 m (14 ft)|
|Diameter||711 mm (28.0 in)|
|Effective firing range||19 km (12 mi)|
The GBU-27 Paveway III (Guided Bomb Unit) is a laser-guided bomb with bunker buster capabilities, it is a GBU-24 Paveway III (fitted on the warhead of the BLU-109 bomb body) that has been redesigned to be used by the F-117A Nighthawk stealth ground attack aircraft. The pilots flying over Iraq during the first gulf war nicknamed it the "Hammer", for its considerable destructive power and blast radius.
The GBU-27 was used in Operation Desert Storm. It was the weapon used in the February 13, 1991 attack on the Amiriyah shelter, which resulted in the deaths of more than 400 Iraqi civilians. It was also used in a series of strikes on the Muthanna State Enterprise site during February 1991.
The first foreign sale of the GBU-27 was the acquisition by Israel of 500 units equipped with BLU-109 penetrating warheads, authorized in September 2004. (Raas and Long 2006) Delivery of such precision guided weaponry was accelerated at the request of Israel in July 2006, though the exact munition were not specified. Israeli Defense Forces officials state that other precision-guided munitions have been used to attack Hezbollah facilities in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. However, the bunker busting technology in the GBU-27 could be directed, according to Israeli military sources, at Iran or possibly Syria.
The GBU-27 may have a strong radioactive content (for instance uranium) as it is known that in the aftermath of the Amiriyah shelter bombing event in which two GBU-27s were used, the bunker is still found to be radioactive.
- Guided Bomb Unit-24 (GBU-24) Paveway III
- Don, Holloway (March 1996). "STEALTH SECRETS OF THE F-117 NIGHTHAWK: Its development was kept under wraps for 14 years, but by 1991, the F-117 nighthawk had become a household word.". Aviation History. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Cowles Magazines. ISSN 1076-8858.
- William Winkenwerder, Jr., MD, Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense, "The Gulf War Air Campaign - Possible Chemical Warfare Agent Release at Al Muthanna, February 8, 1991", November 15, 2001.
- "Royal Air Force Dropped More Than 400 Enhanced Paveway Bombs During OIF". Defense Daily. 8 July 2003. Retrieved 8 August 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (. ))
- NY Times
- Anton La Guardia - Israel challenges Iran's nuclear ambitions, September 22, 2004
- as explained in the French-language documentary "Irak, d'une guerre à l'autre", produced in 2002. The documentary features a Geiger counter being brought in the building and the counter detects a significant amount of radioactivity inside the destroyed bunker
- Whitney Raas and Austin Long, Osirak Redux? Assessing Israeli Capabilities to Destroy Iranian Nuclear Facilities, MIT Security Studies Program Working Paper, April 2006.