The Daisy Cutter was first used by the Air Force in the final year of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War for clearing thick jungle areas to create instant landing zones for Army helicopters.
Air Force documents call the BLU-82B weapon system “Commando Vault.”
It is a general-purpose “dumb bomb” loaded aboard newer versions of the C-130 Hercules, a four-engine workhorse used by the Air Force for more than 30 years.
Because the bomb lacks a tail fin assembly, the same parachute that pulls the weapon from the back of the C-130 keeps its nose down as it falls.
The warhead contains 12,600 pounds of explosives and is detonated just above the ground by a 38-inch fuse probe extending from the bomb’s nose.
It produces enough power to level trees and buildings.
Eleven BLU-82s were dropped during Operation Desert Storm, all from special operations C-130s known as Combat Talons.
The initial drops were intended to test the bomb’s ability to clear mines; however, no reliable assessment was completed because the war didn’t last long enough.
The crew of a MC-130E Combat Talon special operations airplane dropped a BLU-82 bomb near an Iraqi position.
The bomb detonated in an explosion that momentarily lit up the entire front.
A leaflet drop warned Iraqi soldiers more such bombs would be dropped on their positions; the threat was believed to be responsible for mass defections, including almost all of one Iraqi battalion’s staff.
Class: 15,000 lb. Blast
Weight (lb.): 15,000
Length (in): 141.6
Diameter (in): 54
Warhead (lbs.): 15,000
Explosive: Aluminum Powder (12,600 lbs.)
Fuze: M904 (Nose); M905 (Tail)
Unit Cost: $27,318