With the ability to clear a battlefield of all vehicles, soldiers and bunkers, the CBU-97 sensor fused bomb is one of the most powerful weapons of the U.S. military.
1,000 Pound Cluster Bomb
The CBU-97 is a 1,000 pound cluster bomb that is used by the U.S. Air Force. The weapon is non-guided and freefalls from military aircraft. Each bomb contains 40 "skeets." These are sensor fused projectiles shaped like hockey pucks. Each skeet uses infrared lasers and sensors to scan an area of about 1,500 feet for targets such as tanks, bunkers and armored personnel carriers. Once a target is detected, the skeet attaches to it and explodes into molten hot copper. If no target is detected, the skeets self-destruct 50 feet above the ground.
The CBU-97 bomb was first used in combat during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The weapon is typically fired from U.S. Air Force tactical aircraft from altitudes ranging between 200 feet and 20,000 feet. The CBU-97 bomb is developed by Textron Defense Systems, an aerospace and defense company based in Wilmington, Massachusetts.
The CBU-97 bomb has been praised for its ability to destroy multiple targets at once. The weapon has also been praised for its self-destruct mechanism, which helps prevent civilian casualties. The U.S. military has announced plans to sell variations on the CBU-97 bomb to foreign countries, including India.