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GBU-15



Overview


GBU-15(V)1/B

GBU-15(V)1/B mounted onto a pylon of a F-4E Phantom II in 1985.

Source: US Air Force - © Public domain

Origin
United States
Type
Guided bomb
Entered service
1977 for GBU-15(V)1/B
1985 for GBU-15(V)2/B
2000's for EGBU-15
Status
In service
Development
1973 - 1975
Developer
United States - Air Force Development Test Center
Production
Late 1970's - ?
Producer
United States - Rockwell International
GBU-15(V)1/B and 2/B
United States - Raytheon
EGBU-15
Number produced
2.823 GBU-15(V)1/B and 2/B
Notable users
United States
Israel

Description


Description

The GBU-15 is a smart bomb of US origin. It is a further development of the GBU-8 HOBOS. The GBU-15 is meant for use against high value targets. Unlike other smart bombs such as Paveway and JDAM the GBU-15 is not in widespread use, also due to its high unit cost.

Design

The GBU-15 is an unpowered glide bomb electro-optical guidance. The GBU-15 was developed as a kit that is attached to an existing dumb bomb. This is either the Mark 84 general purpose bomb of BLU-109 penetrator bomb. The front unit of the kit houses the optical seeker and four small wings. The rear unit features four large wings with control sections.

Guidance

The GBU-15 is an optically guided weapon which can be used in three modes. The first mode is target selection before launch, with the seeker guiding the GBU-15 onto target automatically. In the second mode the weapon is launched and the target is selected while in flight for automatic terminal homing. In the third mode the weapon is manually controlled by the operator all the way onto the target. The last two modes require a two way datalink, such as provided by the AN/AXQ-14 pod.

Launch platforms

The GBU-15 can be launched from a variety of aircraft. These include the F-4E Phantom II, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16C/D Fighting Falcon, F-111C/F Aardvark and B-52D Stratofortress.

Users

The GBU-15 is used by the United States and has been exported to various allies, including Israel and Australia.

Details


GBU-15(V)21/B

GBU-15(V)21/B guided bomb with TV guidance for daylight use and short chord wings.

Source: US Air Force - © Public domain

Overview of GBU-15 variants

GBU-15(V)1/B
This is the first variant of the GBU-15 to be developed. The TV seeker can be used in daylight only. This version has large delta rear wings and was based on the Mk 84 warhead only.
GBU-15(V)2/B
Improved variant introduced in 1985. The imaging infrared optical seeker allows the GBU-15 to be used in low light situations and on targets partially obscured by regular smoke and clouds. This version has large delta rear wings and was based on the Mk 84 warhead only.
GBU-15(V)21/B
Features short chord wings, Mk 84 warhead and TV guidance.
GBU-15(V)22/B
Features short chord wings, Mk 84 warhead and IIR guidance.
GBU-15(V)31/B
Features short chord wings, BLU-109 penetrator warhead and TV guidance.
GBU-15(V)32/B
Features short chord wings, BLU-109 penetrator warhead and IIR guidance.
EGBU-15
Recent improvement introduced in the early 2000's. Adds inertial navigation system and radio altimeter. This improves the effectiveness at longer ranges. Converted weapons are known as GBU-15(V)1C/B and GBU-15(V)2C/B when using Mk 84 warhead and GBU-15(V)31A/B and GBU-15(V)32A/B when using BLU-109.
Facts GBU-15(V)1/B GBU-15(V)2/B
General
Origin
United States
Type
Guided bomb
Dimensions
Length
3.92 m
Diameter
0.46 m
Wingspan
1.50 m
Guidance
Guidance type
Optical guidance, daylight TV image-contrast seeker
Seeker type
DSU-27A/B
Guidance modes
Lock on before launch
Lock on after launch
Manual guidance all the way
Datalink
Two way radio datalink
Warhead
Warhead type
Mark 84 general purpose bomb
Warhead weight
910 kg
Performance
Range
9 to 24 km, depending on drop altitude and speed
Speed
Subsonic

Media


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