New Bombs Can See Through Bad Weather
U.S. Air Force F-117 stealth fighters struck five strategic
targets in Baghdad on March 21 using a new precision-guided
munition, the EGBU-27, as coalition forces shifted the Operation
Iraqi Freedom air campaign into high gear.
Using the low-observable, stealth technology of the F-117 to
penetrate deep into Iraq and the improved bombs, the strike
missions were able to precisely hit communication nodes and command
bunkers in Baghdad late March 21, said Maj. Clint Hinote, an F-117
pilot assigned to the Combined Air Operations Center at a
forward-deployed base in Southwest Asia.
Job Well Done
"The F-117 has been given some very tough assignments in this
war and our people and aircraft have performed superbly. We are
making important contributions to the coalition team working to
disarm and liberate Iraq," said Hinote.
The stealth fighters that flew these missions returned home
New Weapons To Bomb Saddam
The aircraft and their pilots are not the only
stars of the mission. The new EGBU-27s are also playing an
The "E" stands for "enhanced," reflecting recent upgrades to the
traditional GBU-27. The EGBU-27 now has a satellite-guidance system
to supplement the laser guidance system.
When poor weather or other obstructions prevent the bomb from
"seeing" the laser spot on a target, the new "smarter bomb"
automatically switches to the new satellite-guidance system. This
allows the bomb to reach its target using coordinates programmed by
the pilot or the last known point provided by the laser, said Jim
Ogan, the bomb's program manager at Hill Air Force Base (UT).
The enhanced bomb gives this deep-strike fighter the ability to
precisely hit a target in all kinds of weather and the upgrade came
just in time, said officials.
The Air Force defined a need for a satellite-guided capability
for the stealth fighter after Operation Allied Force and the Air
Force acquisition community rapidly developed, tested and fielded
the EGBU-27, added officials.
The Air Force used the new bomb operationally for the first time
March 20 against strategic targets in Baghdad on the first night of
the war, said Hinote.
"Our new weapon helps us contribute to the overall objectives of
the campaign by precisely targeting the Iraqi leadership without
hurting the innocent citizens of Iraq," he said.