Apr 19, 2012 16:22 UTC
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Boeing’s GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb Phase I (SDB-I) is a specially shaped 250-pound bomb. Its thin and pointed shape gives it extra punch against buildings and hardened targets, its pop-out wings give it very good glide range, and its JDAM-like GPS/INS guidance kit gives it precision. Raytheon’s GBU-53 SDB-II bombs added the ability to strike moving targets.
While there have been true stories of “cement bombs” designed to lower collateral damage, “Focused Lethality Munitions” take a higher-tech tack. This Small Diameter Bomb variant changes the bomb’s casing and internal fill, in order to produce more devastating effects within a smaller area. A carbon-fiber bomb body disintegrates instead of fragmenting, which adds explosive force nearby but largely removes shrapnel issues beyond. Inside, metal particles turn the explosive material into short-range projectiles. The result is especially useful in urban areas, in situations where friendly elements are close to the impact zone, and in campaigns fought using contemporary American counter-insurgency doctrine. Publicly-announced orders have included:
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Apr 11, 2012 19:48 UTC
Radios are vital to US Special Operations Command. Their tactics depend on high levels of training and coordination, and their operations need both high-bandwidth networking and reliable communications when calling for backup. On top of that, weight and bulk are precious commodities. US SOCOM’s Capital Equipment Replacement program aims to replace legacy multiband inter/intra team (MBITR) AN/PSC-5D radios with newer, lighter, better-performing JTRS-compatible equipment. SOCOM’s 75th Ranger Regiment are conducting combat evaluations [PDF] of full JTRS Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit PRC-154 Rifleman and PRC-155 Manpack radios, but the CER buys will involve a set of proven, JTRS-compatible radios that are already widely deployed under the US CISCHR contract. Over the next 5 years, up to $790 million will go to…
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