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The Long Road to Desert Storm and Beyond : The Development of Precision Guided Bombs

By Major Donald I. Blackwelder, USAF

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Book Id: WPLBN0002170737
Format Type: PDF eBook:
File Size: 0.7 MB
Reproduction Date: 10/23/2012

Title: The Long Road to Desert Storm and Beyond : The Development of Precision Guided Bombs  
Author: Major Donald I. Blackwelder, USAF
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Technology, Airpower
Collections: Authors Community, United States
Publication Date:
Publisher: Air University Press
Member Page: Air University Press


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Donald I. Blackwelder, Usa, B. M. (n.d.). The Long Road to Desert Storm and Beyond : The Development of Precision Guided Bombs. Retrieved from

This paper examines the long development of precision guided bombs to show that the accuracy attained in Desert Storm was an evolution not a revolution in aerial warfare. This evolution continues and gives offensive airpower the advantage over the defense. Guided bomb development started during World War One with the “aerial torpedo”. When Desert Storm initiated in 1991 there were very few guided weapons that had not been extensively tested on training ranges and in combat. The precision demonstrated to the World during Desert Storm started evolving when airpower was first envisioned as a new dimension for conducting war, and was far from a revolution. Now, the continued development of imaging infrared, laser radar, synthetic aperture radar, and millimeter wave radar autonomous seekers further increases the flexibility, range, and effectiveness of guided bombs.

Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION........1 EARLY GUIDED BOMBS THROUGH WORLD WAR TWO........3 World War One........3 Post World War One........4 World War Two........5 THE KOREAN WAR........19 THE VIETNAM WAR........22 Laser Guided Bombs (LGBs)........22 Electro-optical Guided Bombs........30 THE MIDDLE EAST AND THE 1970s........32 THE 1980s AND THE LIBYA RAID........35 DESERT STORM AND THE 1990s........38 Current Development Projects........41 EPILOGUE........48


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