GBU-15/AGM-130 Weapon System

Historical Snapshot

GBU-15/AGM-130 Weapon System

The Guided Bomb Unit -15 (GBU-15) modular weapon system is combat-proven, precision-guided and capable of destroying a variety of heavily defended targets. The GBU-15 can deliver either an MK-84 2,000-pound (907-kilogram) general-purpose bomb or a BLU-109B 2,000-pound (907-kilogram) penetrating bomb with pinpoint accuracy by data link control, from low to high altitude, at a significant standoff distance. The GBU-15 is equipped with either a television or an imaging infrared seeker. It was developed by North American Rockwell’s Autonetics division and first flown in 1975.

The seeker provides the launch aircraft with visual presentation of the target and surroundings as seen from the weapon. During free flight, this presentation is transmitted by a two-way data link system to the aircraft cockpit television monitor.

The seeker can be either locked onto the target before or after launch for automatic weapon guidance or manually steered by the weapon systems operator.

Carrying forward the modular concept of the GBU-15 guided weapon system, the AGM-130A employs a rocket motor for extended range and an altimeter for altitude control. This powered version of the GBU-15 provides a significantly increased standoff range.

The AGM-130 has two variants: the AGM-130A with a MK-84 blast/fragmentation warhead and the AGM-130C with a BLU-109 penetrator. In June 1997, an AGM-130 standoff missile successfully demonstrated increased capability during a U.S. Air Force mission at Eglin Air Force Base in northwest Florida. The updated AGM-130 was configured to allow it to be used against targets such as buried bunkers and roofs of buildings.

On Sept. 21, 1998, The Boeing Company tested a turbojet engine to extend the range of the AGM-130 standoff weapon system. The turbojet motor reached 100 percent thrust starting at the six-seconds-after-release point and traveled approximately 102 nautical miles (189 kilometers) from release, with a flight time of more than 11 minutes.