Mark 82 bomb

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Mark 82 General Purpose (GP) Bomb
Mk-82 xxl.jpg
Mk 82 bomb as displayed on U.S. Air Force website.
Type Low-drag general purpose bomb
Place of origin United States
Production history
Designer General Dynamics
Manufacturer General Dynamics
Unit cost $2,082.50 (in 2001)[1]

GBU-12 Paveway II

Weight 500 pounds (227 kg)
Length 87.4 inches (2.22 m)
Diameter 10.75 inches (273 mm)

Filling Tritonal, Minol (explosive) or Composition H6
Filling weight 192 pounds (87 kg)

The Mark 82 (Mk 82) is an unguided, low-drag general-purpose bomb, part of the United States Mark 80 series. The explosive filling is usually tritonal, though other compositions have sometimes been used.

Development and deployment[edit]

A B-2 Spirit dropping Mk 82 bombs into the Pacific Ocean in a 1994 training exercise off Point Mugu, California.

With a nominal weight of 500 lb (227 kg), it is the one of the smallest in current service, and one of the most common air-dropped weapons in the world. Although the Mk 82's nominal weight is 500 lb (227 kg), its actual weight varies depending on its configuration, from 510 lb (232 kg) to 570 lb (259 kg). It is a streamlined steel casing containing 192 lb (89 kg) of Tritonal high explosive. The Mk 82 is offered with a variety of fin kits, fuzes, and retarders for different purposes.

The Mk 82 is the warhead for the GBU-12 laser-guided bombs and for the GBU-38 JDAM.

Currently only the General Dynamics plant in Garland, Texas is Department Of Defense-certified to manufacture bombs for the US Armed Forces.

The Mk 82 is currently undergoing a minor redesign to allow it to meet the insensitive munitions requirements set by Congress.

Mk. 82 bomb with Tail Retarding Device – this photograph shows an unfuzed, museum display Mk 82 with its usual combat paint scheme. For display purposes, the optional high-drag "Snakeye" tailfins used for low-altitude release are shown.

According to a test report conducted by the United States Navy's Weapon System Explosives Safety Review Board (WSESRB) established in the wake of the 1967 USS Forrestal fire, the cooking off time for a Mk 82 is approximately 2 minutes 30 seconds.

More than 4,500 GBU-12/Mk 82 laser-guided bombs were dropped on Iraq during the Persian Gulf War.[2] France requested 1,200 MK82s in 2010 to Société des Ateliers Mécaniques de Pont-sur-Sambre (SAMP) which builds MK82s under licence.[3] Saudi Arabia requested 8,000 Mk82s in 2015, along with guidance kits and other weapons.[4]

Low-level delivery[edit]

In low-level bombing, it is possible for the delivering aircraft to sustain damage from the blast and fragmentation effects of its own munitions since the aircraft and ordnance arrive at the target very close to the same time. To address this issue, the standard Mk-82 General Purpose bomb can be fitted with a special high-drag tail fin unit. In this configuration, it is referred to as the Mk-82 Snake Eye.[5]

The tail unit has four folded fins which spring open into a cruciform shape when the bomb is released. The fins increase the drag of the bomb, slowing its forward progress and allowing the delivery aircraft to safely pass over the target before the bomb explodes.


  • BLU-111/B – Mk 82 casing filled with PBXN-109 (instead of Composition H6); item weighs 480 lbs.[6] PBXN-109 is a less sensitive explosive filler when compared to H6.[7] The BLU-111/B also is the warhead of the A-1 version of the Joint Stand-Off Weapon JSOW.
  • BLU-111A/B – Used by the U.S. Navy,[8] this is the BLU-111/B with a thermal-protective coating added[7] to reduce cook-off in (fuel-related) fires.
  • BLU-126/B – Designed following a U.S. Navy request to lower collateral damage in air strikes. Delivery of this type started in March 2007. Also known as the Low Collateral Damage Bomb (LCDB), it is a BLU-111 with a smaller explosive charge. Inert ballast is added to match the original weight of the BLU-111, which gives it the same trajectory when dropped.[9]
  • BLU-129/B – U.S. Air Force Mark 82 version with a composite warhead case which disintegrates upon detonation to minimize fragmentation, decreasing damage to nearby structures and reducing the chances of collateral damage.[10] The carbon fiber composite shell achieves three-times less collateral damage by keeping the blast radius tight, while the tungsten-laden case high explosive has greater lethality in that blast radius. Entered service in 2011 with some 800 units produced until early 2015. USAF is looking to restart production for domestic and international consumption.[11][12]
  • Mark 62 Quickstrike mine – A naval mine, which is a conversion of Mark 82 bomb.[13]
  • Mark 82 Mod 7 – Near-term solution for cluster bomb replacement that replaces the forged steel casing with a unitary "cast ductile iron" warhead and reconfigured burst height and fuze locations, dispersing iron fragmentation over a large area to fulfill area-attack requirements with less chance of unexploded ordnance. To enter service by 2018.[14][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Air Force Munitions Acquisition Costs". About.comUS Military. 
  2. ^ Friedman, Norman (1997). The Naval Institute guide to world naval weapons systems, 1997–1998. Naval Institute Press. p. 249. ISBN 978-1-55750-268-1. 
  3. ^ "La DGA notifie l'achat de 1 200 corps de bombes de type Mk82" (in French). Government of France. 28 June 2010. Retrieved 2016-08-10. 
  4. ^ "Saudis Request Huge Resupply of U.S. Air-To-Ground Weapons". Aviation International News. 
  5. ^ "Bombs and components". 
  6. ^ "China Lake, Naval Warfare Center". 
  7. ^ a b "BLU-111/B". Federation of American Scientists. 
  8. ^ "Equipment Listing". 
  9. ^ Little Bang – p.38, Aviation Week & Space Technology-January 29, 2007
  10. ^ Precision Lethality Responds to Urgent Operational Need Archived 2015-04-18 at the Wayback Machine. –, 9 January 2015
  11. ^ USAF’s ultra-lethal carbon fibre bomb approved for export –, 29 June 2015
  12. ^ USAF Has Carbon Fibre Bomb Export Hopes –, 2 July 2015
  13. ^ Jenkins, Dennis R. B-1 Lancer, The Most Complicated Warplane Ever Developed, p. 159. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1999. ISBN 0-07-134694-5.
  14. ^ Air Force Replaces Cluster Bombs With Something Slightly Less Likely to Kill Civilians –, 12 October 2014
  15. ^ USAF moving past cluster munitions, CALCM cruise missile –, 4 June 2015

External links[edit]