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Guided Bomb Unit-27 (GBU-27)

The Guided Bomb Unit-27 (GBU-27) is a GBU-24 modified for delivery by the F-117 stealth fighter. The operator illuminates a target with a laser designator and then the munition guides to a spot of laser energy reflected from the target. It uses a 2,000-pound penetrating warhead against hard targets. The GBU-27 was used in Operation Desert Storm. According to the Air Force, the GBU-27 hit 70 percent of its targets.

The GBU-27 was designed specifically for use by the F-117's advanced target acquisition/designator system. The GBU-27 uses a BLU-109 improved performance 2,000 pound bomb developed in 1985 under the project name HAVE VOID. The BLU-109 was designed for use against hardened structures and features a high-strength forged steel case and a new delayed-action tail fuze. It carries 550 pounds of high explosives and can penetrate more than six feet of reinforced concrete.

The GBU-27 uses a modified Paveway II guidance control unit which provides "terminal trajectory shaping" for optimum impact angle against various target structures. For example, it will hit an aircraft shelter with a vertical impact, but make a horizontal approach to a bridge support. A Paveway II tail assembly with folding wings completes the bomb.

The F-117 can carry two GBU-27s in two weapons bays and is reportedly capable of hitting a one square meter target from an altitude of 25,000 feet.

Specifications

Mission Close air support, interdiction, offensive counter air, naval anti- surface warfare
Targets Mobile hard, fixed hard, fixed soft
Service Air Force
Program status Operational
First capability 1987
Guidance method Laser (man-in-the-loop)
Range Greater than 10 nautical miles
Development cost Not available - Air Force officials state that development cost was not available because they do not have records covering the development period.
Production cost $176.715 million
Total acquisition cost Not available
Acquisition unit cost Not available
Production unit cost $55,000
Quantity 3,213
Platform F-117

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