GBU-15 bomb is an unpowered, glide weapon used to destroy high value enemy targets.
It is designed to be used with F-15E and F-111F aircraft.
weapon consists of modular components that are attached to either an MK-84 or
BLU-109 penetrating warhead. Each weapon has five components -- a forward guidance
section, warhead adapter section, control module, airfoil components and a weapon
The guidance section is attached to the nose of
the weapon and contains either a television guidance system for daytime or an
imaging infrared system for night or limited, adverse weather operations. A data
link in the tail section sends guidance updates to the control aircraft that enables
the weapon systems operator to guide the bomb by remote control to its target.
external electrical conduit extends the length of the warhead which attaches the
guidance adapter and control unit. The conduit carries electrical signals between
the guidance and control sections. The umbilical receptacle passes guidance and
control data between cockpit control systems of the launching aircraft and the
weapon prior to launch.
The rear control section consists of
four wings are in an "X"-like arrangement with trailing edge flap control
surfaces for flight maneuvering. The control module contains the autopilot, which
collects steering data from the guidance section and converts the information
into signals that move the wing control surfaces to change the weapon's flight
The GBU-15 may be used in direct or indirect attack.
In a direct attack, the pilot selects a target before launch, locks the weapon
guidance system onto it and launches the weapon. The weapon automatically guides
itself to the target, enabling the pilot to leave the area.
an indirect attack, the weapon is guided by remote control after launch. The pilot
releases the weapon and, via remote control, searches for the target. Once the
target is acquired, the weapon can be locked to the target or manually guided
via the date-link system.
This highly maneuverable weapon has
an optimal, low-to-medium altitude delivery capability with pinpoint accuracy.
It also has a standoff capability. Desert Storm F-111F pilots used GBU-15 glide
bombs to seal flaming oil pipeline manifolds sabotaged by Saddam Hussein's troops.
Air Force Development Test Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., began developing
the GBU-15 in 1974. It was a product improvement of the early guided bombs used
during the Southeast Asia conflict. Flight testing of the weapon began in 1975.
The GBU-15 with television guidance, completed full-scale operational test and
evaluation in November 1983. In February 1985, initial operational test and evaluation
was completed on the imaging infrared guidance seeker.
1987, the program management responsibility for the GBU-15 weapon system transferred
from the Air Force Systems Command to the Air Force Logistics Command. The commands
merged to become the Air Force Materiel Command in 1992.
Primary Function: Air-to-surface guided
Contractor: Rockwell International Corp.
12 feet, 10.5 inches (3.91 meters)
Launch Weight: 2,500 pounds
Diameter: 18 inches (45 meters)
4 feet, 11 inches (1.49 meters)
30,000-plus feet (9,091 meters)
System: Television or imaging infrared seeker via data link
Mk-84 general purpose or BLU-109 penetrating bombs
Unit cost: TV: $195,000; IIR: $300,000