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"Is This A ‘Bunker Buster’ Or Something Else?" Topic

18 Posts

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934 hits since 13 Jun 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Cacique Caribe13 Jun 2018 3:08 a.m. PST

Whatever it is, it looks fantastic!



Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2018 3:33 a.m. PST

Something quite old, I think.
A version of a shaped charge explosive.

wakenney13 Jun 2018 4:09 a.m. PST

Looks like a Viper strike.

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2018 5:43 a.m. PST

Looks like a GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb. Could be wrong though

Ferd4523113 Jun 2018 5:55 a.m. PST

Since there is just one I'm not sure; but the results resemble my grandkids let loose in the house. H

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2018 6:20 a.m. PST

Not a "bunker buster". Looks like a normal smart weapon. A bunker buster produces a much greater seismic wave than I could observe from the video.

Red Jacket Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2018 7:18 a.m. PST

Does a standard bomb go through 8 or 10 feet of what I assume is reinforced concrete? Cuts through it like butter – pretty cool!

jdginaz13 Jun 2018 12:01 p.m. PST

It's a bunker buster developed for the US Air Force just before the first or second gulf war. I remember seeing the video when its deployment was first announced.

jdginaz13 Jun 2018 12:07 p.m. PST

Correction as David Manley said it's a GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb

Steve Wilcox13 Jun 2018 12:31 p.m. PST

Thanks to David Manley's and jdginaz's succesful identification of the munition, here's a video from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on YouTube that includes that footage:

YouTube link

Lion in the Stars13 Jun 2018 1:52 p.m. PST

Pretty impressive power from a 250lb bomb!

Cacique Caribe13 Jun 2018 8:41 p.m. PST


There's a certain amount of beauty when bombs are filmed in slow motion, when they first detonate and you see the shockwave as the gases expand. So much has to happen in just the blink of an eye.


Mobius14 Jun 2018 10:34 a.m. PST

That video in the OP looks like it is penetrating about 8 feet of concrete.

The text on the GBU-39 says it weighs 250 lbs. and is 7.5" in diameter. Such an AP bomb should only penetrate about 3" of armor from 5000 ft. (800 fps) The text says it could penetrate about 3 ft. of reinforced concrete. Which is in line of 12 x 1 of concrete to armor ratio.

So why does the video seem like it is penetrating more than twice that amount?

Lion in the Stars14 Jun 2018 5:24 p.m. PST

There may be a multi-stage warhead involved for the really deep penetration. Kinda like tandem charge HEAT for tanks, but only the first stage is shaped charge. second stage is thinner and longer.

Or, it could be that the bomb is hitting at significantly higher velocity, since it's probably starting at 500mph horizontal velocity plus gravity.

Mobius14 Jun 2018 10:33 p.m. PST

Some information must be missing. As a free fall bomb even released at 15,000 feet with a 30° dive and 500 mph it will impact at 30° and only penetrate 4.1" of steel.

The video looks like it is impacting at vertical. Jets don't dive-bomb so maybe the wings can steer it into the vertical. So maybe they can steer it into a fall where the horizontal speed can be translated into vertical speed. In that case it would be like a dive-bomber releasing at 500 mph at something like 80-90 degree dive. That would up the penetration to 4.6".

williamb15 Jun 2018 8:49 a.m. PST

It appears from the video that the inside of the structure is not as tall as the sides. Note the delay from the moment it passes the edge to the appearance of the debris spray.

zoneofcontrol15 Jun 2018 2:11 p.m. PST

@Mobius: "The video looks like it is impacting at vertical. Jets don't dive-bomb…"
In the linked video above from Steve Wilcox, the munition is shown with pop out wings allowing it to glide some distance to the target. Once at or near the target, it can steer or be steered into a vertical drop.

@williamb: "It appears from the video that the inside of the structure is not as tall as the sides."
I was wondering this too. I was thinking the front and rear may be thicker and taller to defend against a horizontal attack. (??? just a guess.)

Viper guy Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2018 10:01 p.m. PST

@Mobius, jets do indeed dive bomb. And yes, it is a Small Diameter Bomb.

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