Another dramatic and recent change stems from the fact that technological developments now enable a number of weapons--particularly the 'simpler' types --to be delivered with precision in bad weather, which, in a conflict as recent as the one that plagued former Yugoslavia, either hinders certain operations or results in target misses, sometimes with dire consequences.
With appropriate data links, for example, a laser-guided weapon released by a fighter aircraft can now be navigated through clouds onto its assigned target by a ground surveillance platform like the Jstars. Datalinks will also play a crucial role in target-hit evaluation, a path that, for example, is now being seriously explored by MBDA. This is of particular importance for long-range weapons such as cruise missiles. While such a facility cannot provide a true assessment of the inflicted damage, it can at least give a reliable real- or near real-time indication not only of whether a target was hit, but also, more importantly, whether it was hit in the right place and at the correct angle of impact.
This supplement to the regular issue of Armada International provides a clear overview of the status of all major current programmes. For ease of reference, it has been divided into distinct sub-headings:
* Guided Rockets
* Guided Anti-Armour
* Bomb Kits
* Rocket Boost
* Cruise Missiles.
For example (but this is true of all rockets of the same type), the unguided 70 mm Hydra-70 produced by General Dynamics Armament Systems has a range of up to 6000 metres, but at that distance the circular error probability is over 100 metres, requiring more than 100 rounds to be fired to achieve a direct hit on a vehicular target. (Israel's effective use of unguided rockets to destroy selected cars suggests that firings take place at well below 1000 metres). A precision guidance and control kit can reduce the rocket circular error probability to the order of one metre, and give something approaching a 'one-shot, one-kill' engagement from a relatively safe distance.
The leader in this field of development is the US Army Aviation and Missile Command, which in March 2000 formulated a need for a Hydra-70 guidance and control kit that will cost less than $10,000 and give a one-metre accuracy at 6000 metres range. Such a weapon will economically fill the present gap between the unguided rocket and an anti-tank guided missile costing around $ 80,000. The US services have approximately 300,000 Hydra-70s in store, and the US Army alone is expected to buy 50,000 to 100,000 guidance kits.
Both BAE Systems and Raytheon have conducted guided rocket firings under the LCPK (Low-Cost Precision Kill) programme. Early last year the US Army awarded General Dynamics an initial contract to act as systems integrator for the Block I development of the APKWS (Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System). BAE Systems is to supply the Guidance and Control (G&C) section, combining inertial mid-course guidance with laser-spot homing.
Whereas the Raytheon guidance and control system placed a gimbal-mounted laser seeker in the rocket nose (allowing lock-on before launch), the BAE Systems distributed-aperture semi-active laser seeker is located between the warhead and the motor and employs fixed seekers in the leading edges of the four fold-out control canards. The latter configuration, it is argued, is designed to allow the usage of any type of warhead. The baseline APKWS missile combines the standard Mk 66 motor, the M151 high explosive warhead and the M423 fuze, but new warhead designs (including thermobaric ones) have been planned. The Hydra-70 is normally fired from a 19-tube M261 or from a seven-tube M260 launcher (US Navy equivalents LAU-61C/A and LAU-68), but the US Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate has developed a four-round launcher for use on other platforms such as the SAIC Vigilante rotary-wing drone.
One alternative means to achieve precise delivery is an imaging infrared (IIR) seeker, such as the Raytheon Damask (Direct Attack Munitions Affordable SeeKer), which is being studied for the Precision Jdam (Joint Direct Attack Munition) project, and is based on an uncooled cots (commercial off-the-shelf) automobile unit. The Damask is being used by the Weapons Division of the US Naval Air Warfare Center in a programme to provide terminal homing for a Hydra-70 fitted with a mid-course guidance package.
NAWCWPNS is also teamed with Darpa on tests of a 'biomimetric' system for mid-course navigation, which reportedly employs an optical flow-path technique used by bees. The US Navy is considering doubling the Hydra-70 range, and is working with the Army on a Smart Munition/Advanced Rocket (Smart) launcher that will allow individual rockets to be selected for firing, and in turn provide them with specific laser codes and then tell each missile where to look for its target.
The advent of the APKWS will represent a major advancement in air-to-ground attacks, allowing a single helicopter to deal effectively with many more targets, thereby reducing the wastage of anti-tank guided weapons on vehicles and installations that do not justify the expense of a sophisticated warhead and fuze. The same guidance kit may well prove applicable to other major 70 mm rocket systems, as produced by Canada's Magellan/Bristol Aerospace (CRV7) and Belgium's Thales/Forges de Zeebrugge.
Whereas the Hydra-70 has a launch weight of 11.9 kg with a 3.95 kg warhead, the Russian 122 mm S-13 weighs a heafty 75 kg and carries a 31.8 kg warhead, and is thus heavier than even America's 127 mm Zuni. A laser-homing version (S-13L) is to form part of the armament of such aircraft as the Yak-130 and Mi-35M, and will provide an effective means to attack hardened targets such as bridges and command bunkers. It may be noted that Russia produces the world's heaviest air-to-ground rockets, the 480 kg, 340 mm S-25 series, which could well be given similar guidance. It is seen in the subtitle picture on the left of this row of unguided S-13s as proposed for the Mi-35M.
The trend is also to higher flight speeds to reduce both the possibility of the target disappearing and the length of time that the launch helicopter is exposed to return fire. Vulnerability considerations also favour a fire-and-forget capability, or a fibre-optic guidance to allow a launch to be effected from behind cover.
Other important desiderata are to extend maximum firing range beyond the four kilometres of the first generation, and the ability to engage the target by day and night in all weather conditions. Susceptibility to countermeasures proved to be a problem as far back as the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, when optically tracked missiles were decoyed by handheld flares. This aspect is likely to grow in importance as more missile types are equipped with seekers.
Some of the current trends are illustrated by today's Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire II, which cruises supersonically, has a range of more than eight kilometres and is armed with either a blast-fragmentation warhead or tandem-mounted shaped charges. Even the baseline 45 kg AGM-114K with semi-active laser spot-homing can be fired from behind cover in a fire-and-forget mode, using target designation provided by a forward air controller either on the ground or in another aircraft. The 49 kg AGM-114L Longbow Hellfire has a millimetric-wave seeker and is manufactured as a joint project with Northrop Grumman. The latest Hellfire version to see operational service is the AGM-114N, which was used by the US Marine Corps during the invasion of Iraq. It has a thermobaric warhead for improved effectiveness against bunkers, caves and buildings. A private venture by Lockheed Martin, the IR Hellfire has a 256 x 256 focal plane array. More than 16,000 Hellfire IIs have been manufactured for the US services and twelve export customers. The 50 kg MBDA Brimstone is a derivative of Hellfire, extensively redesigned to employ an active millimetric-wave radar and automatic target recognition facility in anti-armour attacks from high-speed, fixed-wing aircraft.
Other long-range missiles include the 50 kg Denel/Kentron Mokopa (Black Mamba), a laser spot-homing missile that is being developed to replace the company's 28.5 kg laser beam-riding Ingwe (Leopard). The Mokopa has a range of ten kilometres (twice that of Ingwe), and can lock on to the designated target either before or after launch. Whereas the Ingwe is tube-launched, the Mokopa is fired from a rail.
Russia's 50 kg laser beam-riding KBP 9M121 Vikhr (AT-16) is a tube-launched supersonic missile with a range of ten kilometres. Aside from helicopter applications it has been exhibited on the Su-39 fixed-wing close support aircraft.
The Vikhr peaks at 800 m/sec, reaching 6000 metres in 14 sec and 8000 metres in 23 sec. It was designed to replace the the speed and range limitations of wire guidance and thus leapfrogged both the 3750-metre range Raytheon BGM-71 Tow and the 4300-metre Euromissile Hot series. Nonetheless, both of these Western missile types have been sold in large numbers.
More than 660,000 Tow rounds have been manufactured for over 45 countries. The latest version is the extended-range Tow-2B, which is designed for fly-over top-attack, and is characterised by a low-drag hemispherical nose. It also has a longer guidance wire, increasing maximum range to 4500 metres. A radio-guided Tow RF has also been tested.
Some 85,000 examples of the now-labelled MBDA 24 kg Hot have been ordered by 18 countries. The new Hot 3 is in series production, with considerably upgraded kill potential and anti-jamming capabilities.
The MBDA Hot 3 has been selected for the Eurocopter Tiger, but for the German Army version Hot may (if funds are available) be superseded by the 48 kg MBDA Trigat-LR initially developed under the auspices of Euromissile Dynamics, which employs IIR guidance for fire-and-forget capability. The Trigat-LR was designed to satisfy a Franco-German requirement that included a firing range of five kilometres, which is probably the maximum distance KBM 9M114 Kokon (AT-6) and its marginally supersonic (350 to 400 m/sec) 9M120 Ataka-V (AT-9) derivative, both of which use the Shturm-V radio saclos guidance system and have an effective range of six kilometres. Production of the Ataka-V ceased in early 1990 but was restarted (at the Kovrov Mechanical Plant) in 2002 due to the depletion of Russian Army stocks during operations in Chechnya.
Russia's use of radio guidance in antitank armour weapons from 1978 (when the 9M114 was introduced) eliminated at which a tank can be seen from the air under European conditions. However, the manufacturer states that the range of Trigat-LR can be extended to seven kilometres.
The increasing effectiveness of mobile air defence systems is encouraging the development of long-range missiles, which favours the ability to lock on to the target in flight. The use of an imaging infrared or millimetric-wave seeker may raise questions over the probability of an autonomous missile acquiring the correct target, but such doubts can be minimised by maintaining operator control through a video image provided via a fibre-optic link. Such missiles appear to be compatible with ranges of the order of 60 km.
One application for fibre-optic guidance is the Rafael Spike-ER or NTD, which weighs only 33 kg complete with launch canister and has a range of eight kilometres. A 55 kg Heli-Launcher carrying four rounds weighs only 187 kg. Aside from its lock-on after launch mode, the Spike-ER can be locked on before launch, in which case it will either proceed autonomously, using an auto-tracker, or with aim-point corrections (or changes of target) introduced by the operator. It is normally fired in a lofted delivery for a top attack. Day/night operation can be provided by the use of a CCD/IIR seeker.
America's Joint Common Missile (JCM), formerly the Common Modular Missile (CMM), is intended for use on US Army and US Marine Corps helicopters, and the fixed-wing aircraft of the latter service. In the longer term, the JCM is also expected to arm UAVs. The emphasis with the CMM was on replacing the Tow, but the JCM is now being designed primarily to replace Hellfire and Maverick. It is also planned for adoption for the fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft of the British services, bringing the programme value to around six billion US dollars.
The request for proposals was released last September, and two months later Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and a team combining Boeing and Northrop Grumman submitted their bids for a four-year development contract, which is expected to be awarded in the second quarter of FY2004. Low rate production is scheduled to begin in FY2007. Service entry is planned for FY2009 on the AH-64 and AH-1Z, on both the F/A-18 and the RAH-66 in FY2010 and on the MH-60 in FY2011.
The JCM is expected to weigh less than the Hellfire, but to provide a range of 16 km from helicopters, or around 28 km from fixed-wing aircraft. It is to employ a new high-energy, low-signature gel-based propellant fuelling a throttleable rocket motor developed either by Aerojet or Alliant Techsystems (ATK). The JCM will have a mission-selectable warhead and a tri-mode seeker, combining semi-active laser, IIR and millimetric-wave guidance modes. Fire-and-forget and man-in-the-loop modes are both required. The US services plan to buy at least 54,000 rounds.
The Raytheon JCM presentation refers to a growth version with a two-way communications link, and a Block II with a range of over 90 km. The US Army is expected to develop a ground-launched version to replace the Tow. Britain contributed $ ten million to the technology demonstration phase but may yet opt for an improved Brimstone. There are also reports of a rival European Common Missile (ECM).
Such developments had no major impact on air-to-ground operations, but during the Vietnam War key bridges were attacked by the US Air Force with laser-guided bombs (LGBs), the targets being marked by other aircraft equipped with cockpit-mounted Texas Instruments AVQ-9 designators. Aside from producing the desired accuracy, the system allowed the bomb to be released from a height of around 16,500 ft and a slant distance of perhaps five kilometres, significantly reducing vulnerability to ground fire.
The basic laser-guided bomb concept is still in full swing today, primarily in the form of the Paveway series, produced mostly by Raytheon, although Lockheed Martin also manufactures some variants. Following the production of 56,501 Paveway Is, the Paveway II family introduced large folding wings, providing greater accuracy and making the system more suitable for very heavy bombs. Over 7000 GBU-12 Paveway IIs were used during the invasion of Iraq, and well over 100,000 have been manufactured.
The Paveway III has even larger wings, giving a longer standoff distance from low-level release, and a proportional navigation (rather than bang-bang) control system, which also allows impact angle to be selected. Variants include the 2130 kg GBU-28A/B Paveway III penetration weapon, two of which were used operationally during the 1991 Gulf War. The GBU-28B/B is an improved version, designed specifically for the B-2, which provides the bomb with in-flight radar targeting updates.
America's success with laser-guided bombs inspired analogous developments in other countries. Russia's series, produced by the Region State Research and Production Enterprise, now includes the 250 kg LGB-250 (unveiled at Maks 2003), the 560 kg KAB-500L and the 1500 kg KAB-1500L penetration weapon.
Other examples include the Israel Military Industries (IMI) PB500A1, which is capable of penetrating two metres of concrete. The Elbit Systems Whizzard bomb family employs various forms of guidance, and the designation Lizard is applied to laser-homing variants.
In August 2000, the British Ministry of Defence selected as its Interim Precision Guided Bomb (IPGB) the Raytheon GPS-guided Enhanced Paveway II/III, which had given an average accuracy significantly better than three metres during tests at Eglin AFB in Florida. The IPGB programme had been launched in response to an urgent operational requirement (UOR) resulting from experience in Kosovo in 1999, and led to the introduction of the Enhanced Paveway on the RAF Tornado in October 2001.
In June 2003, it was announced that Britain had selected the Raytheon Paveway IV as its new Precision Guided Bomb (PGB), combining GPS-aided inertial navigation with anti-spoofing and anti jamming technology. The Paveway IV, which is scheduled to enter service in 2006, will be used on the Tornado, Harrier and Typhoon. It will employ laser homing and GPS/INS navigation, and will be armed with a new Lockheed Martin 227 kg Mk 82 warhead produced by SEI in Sardinia. It will have a penetrator nose-plug and a 'multi-event' hard target fuze produced by Thales Missile Electronics. The Lockheed Martin LongShot wing kit, originally developed by Leigh Aerosystems, can be fitted to give more range than any existing PGB, and allow it to attack targets behind the launch aircraft.
Placing a TV camera in the nose of a bomb and transmitting imagery back to the launch aircraft via a datalink provides assurance that the target has been correctly identified and that an aiming point chosen late in the missile flight can be attacked with precision. An IIR (Imaging InfraRed) seeker gives an inferior image, but ensures day/night capability. However, TV/IIR weapons have not been produced in large numbers, most probably because of the cost of the seeker and video datalink. Incidentally, datalinks are now attracting considerable attention for all types of weapons as they also provide an element of damage assessment, or at least proof that the correct target was hit.
In the General Accounting Office's costing of Desert Storm it was revealed that the TV/IIR-guided 1140 kg Boeing GBU-15 cruciform wing weapon cost over ten times as much as the laser-guided GBU-10. The Rafael Spice (Smart Precise Impact and Cost-Effective) guidance kit can likewise be fitted with either CCD-TV or IIR sensors, and Rafael is working to combine the two. The Spice has an automatic target recognition capability, based on a scene-matching seeker and templates that are loaded prior to take-off, allowing autonomous operation. The baseline version has no datalink, being intended for operation from single-seat aircraft. Notwithstanding its short wings, a range of 60 km can effectively be achieved from a release height of 42,000 ft.
A similar range is given for the TV-guided Denel/Kentron Raptor I, which (unlike the Spice) has a variable-geometry high aspect-ratio wing. The Raptor II is a rocket-boosted development with a range of up to 120 km. Both the Raptor and the Spice have GPS/INS mid-course guidance.
The GBU-15 has now been upgraded to EGBU-15 standard by the addition of a GPS receiver. The Elbit Opher is a low-cost infrared-homing terminal guidance kit, intended for use in conjunction with an accurate weapon-aiming computer, which minimises the required degree of missile 'smartness'. Russia's contributions in this category are the Region KAB-500Kr and KAB-1500Kr.
The laser-guided bomb proved outstandingly useful in clear visibility during the 1991 Gulf War, but during operations over Kosovo in 1999 the use of such weapons was often ruled out by low cloud obscuring the target. Under such conditions (which also affect TV/IIR-guided bombs) the only current way safely to bomb targets close to civilian facilities is to exploit the near-precision made possible under day/night all-weather conditions by satellite navigation, although such attacks relate only to fixed targets of known location.
The principal GPS-assisted bomb is the Boeing Jdam (Joint Direct Attack Munition) family, consisting of the GBU-31 with a Mk 84 warhead or BLU-109 penetrator, the GBU-32 with its Mk 83 warhead, the GBU-35 with a BLU-110 penetrator and the lightweight GBU-38 with a Mk 82 warhead or BLU-111 penetrator. The Jdam series employs a common electronics package, including a Honeywell HG1700 ring laser gyro IMU, a Rockwell Collins GAM-III GPS receiver and a Dayron FMU-152 Joint Programmable Fuze, but it uses a variety of tail assemblies and body strakes. The strakes of the latest variant (GBU-38) have been moved forward to the nose, to maximise the number of bombs that can be carried. The Jdam allows a bomber to attack numerous targets effectively in a single sortie. Last September a US Air Force B-2 released 80 inert but individually targeted GBU-38s in the course of one test flight.
The Jdam is categorised as a near-precise, inertially guided munition with GPS assistance. The requirement called for a 30-metre (or less) circular error probability following a 100-second flight with INS alone, and 13 metres when GPS is available. In the original 450-round trials, the Jdam achieved a 95 per cent reliability and a 9.6-metre circular error probability with GPS functioning. By 2001 the US Air Force was achieving 14 metres with inertial navigation alone (thus almost reaching the GPS-aided target figure), and eight metres with GPS, this latter figure benefiting from an improved twelve-channel receiver that can use signals from all the satellites in view.
The Jdam series was first used operationally over Kosovo in 1999, when 652 were released from B-2s carrying up to 16 each. Over 4600 Jdams have been used over Afghanistan in the course of Operation Enduring Freedom. During the invasion of Iraq, 6542 GPS-aided bombs were used, this total representing both the GBU-32/-35 Jdam and the Northrop Grumman GBU-37, which is a 2130 kg Gam (GPS-Aided Munition) developed as a stop-gap weapon for the B-2. The other form of Gam is the GBU-36/B, based on the Mk 84 warhead.
During Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 28-satellite GPS constellation was continually updated to give the best possible navigation accuracy over the theatre. In consequence, the positional accuracy over Baghdad between March 19 and April 18 was better than 3.08 metres for 95 per cent of the time.
The unit production cost of the Jdam for the US services is currently $ 21,400. It was originally planned that around 87,500 Jdams would be purchased by the US Air Force and US Navy, but numbers up to 250,000 are now being discussed, with perhaps 50,000 for the international market. Production rate is expected to peak at 5000 per month.
Due to the weakness of the GPS signal, there has been concern over the vulnerability of the Jdam to jamming and spoofing. This does not appear to be a serious problem so far, although Russian-made jammers were encountered in Iraq. A more serious problem appears to have emerged from Norwegian negotiations to acquire the Jdam, which have reportedly been stalled by an American refusal to release weekly-changing GPS crypto codes. Nonetheless, large numbers of Jdams have been delivered to Israel, and clearance has been given for exports to a number of other countries.
The only Russian satellite-guided bomb to date appears to be the 560 kg Region KAB-500S-E, which was exhibited at Maks 2003 and was developed for export. The world's largest satellite-guided bomb is the US Air Force's 9760 kg Massive Ordnance Air Blast (Moab), which contains 8170 kg of explosive. It was tested from a C-130 in March 2003 but can also be employed from the B-l, B-2 and B-52. The Moab appears to have been developed as a replacement for the 6800 kg
BLU-82 'Daisy Cutter', which was first used in Vietnam to clear helicopter landing zones and later in Afghanistan to destroy cave networks.
Satellite-aided inertial navigation is probably sufficiently accurate for most pre-planned fixed targets, but a more precise delivery can be achieved by differential GPS (DGPS), using corrections sent to the aircraft from a ground station whose location has been defined within centimetres. In the mid-1990s, trials were carried out over Florida under the Exploitation of Differential GPS for Guidance Enhancement (Edge) programme, which gave the Boeing GBU-15 a mean miss distance of four metres. The same principle could presumably be applied to the Jdam.
There is also a case for making some Jdams better able to deal with targets of opportunity. In 1998, the US Navy launched a programme to explore new technologies to improve Jdam accuracy. One of the principal results was the Damask (Direct Attack Munition Affordable Seeker), a low-cost uncooled HR sensor referred to earlier in the context of the Hydra-70. The Damask was successfully tested on Jdams in September 2000, improving accuracy to better than three metres.
Boeing is now working under a US Navy contract to improve the Mk 82 Jdam version to allow the F/A-18E/F to attack targets of opportunity with precision. Known as the Hornet Autonomous Real-time Targeting (Hart) programme, the revised kit will take imagery from the aircraft's Raytheon APG-79 Aesa (Active Electronically-Scanned Array) and pass it to image matching software, which will compare it with the output from an IR seeker on the bomb. Low-rate initial production is due to begin in late 2006, followed by initial operational capability at the end of 2007. Boeing expects to manufacture 6000 Hart kits by 2011.
In another US Navy-funded Jdam-related programme, which in this case appears to be aimed at ordnance delivery from UAVs, Boeing is studying the use of the Navy's Kill Assist Adverse-weather Targeting System (Kaats). This takes inputs from a Sar (synthetic aperture radar) to locate the target within one metre and transmits the data to a precision guided missile in flight. Under the contract Boeing is to provide six Mk 83 Katdam (Kaats-Jdam) rounds for flight trials, with five more on option.
Another development aimed at allowing systems such as the Jdam (and others discussed later, notably SDB and Jsow) to attack moving targets is the Darpa/US Air Force-sponsored Amste (Affordable Moving Surface Target Engagement) programme, employing sophisticated radars on one or more aircraft to datalink target position continuously to a low-cost bomb.
Flight tests have been successful, but implementation requires secure datalinks that are not yet widely available.
The least publicised of bomb kit developments is arguably the Sagem Aasm (Armement Air-Sol Modulaire), which is to replace the LGB and AS.30L in French service, and complement the MBDA Apache/Scalp EG cruise missile family. As its designation implies, Aasm is a modular series of bomb kits. Its two base-line versions employ a 250 kg bomb (Mk 82, BLU-111 or Cbems) initially with GPS/INS guidance and later with an infrared seeker. A range-extension wing kit is to provide a range of 15 km from low level and over 50 km from altitude. The contract was awarded to Sagem in September 2000, aiming for first deliveries of the 'all-weather ten-metre class' version in February 2005, and of the 'day/night metre class' version in February 2007. Subsequent versions may use dispenser and penetrator warheads and provide metre class accuracy under all weather conditions. A total of 3000 units, including propulsion units, are on order for the French services, with production lasting until at least 2012.
Dispensers are effective in low level fly-over attacks, but are less useful if released at altitude (to reduce vulnerability to ground fire), due to atmospheric effects and random scattering.
The principal weapon in this category is the Lockheed Martin WCMD (Wind Corrected Munition Dispenser), an inertial guidance tail-kit for a family of dispensers based on the Alliant Techsystems SUU-64/65/66 tactical munitions dispenser (TMD). Target coordinates can be fed to the WCMD while it is on the aircraft, and the system allows a number of individual targets to be attacked in a single pass. Unit cost for the tail-kit is approximately $ 9000.
The baseline WCMD is the CBU-103, based on the Alliant Techsystems CBU87 CEM (Combined Effects Munition) with BLU-97/B bomblets. The CBU-103 reached initial operational capability on the B-52 in November 1998. The series made its debut over Afghanistan in late 2001, being released from the B-52 and F-16. The CBU-104 WCMD is based on the Aerojet Ordnance CBU-89 Gator with BLU-91/92 minelets. The CBU-105 WCMD is based on the Textron Systems CBU-97 SFW (Sensor-Fuzed Weapon) with BLU-108 submunitions, each carrying four Skeet smart warheads.
The CBU-107 Passive Attack Weapon is a special version of the WCMD, developed for the invasion of Iraq. It carries 3750 non-explosive penetrator rods for attacks on chemical and biological targets and soft structures in populated areas. Around 60 were manufactured, with General Dynamics supplying the rods and Textron Systems providing the dispenser body.
The US Air Force originally planned to acquire around 40,000 WCMDs, in the form of 30,000 CBU-103s, plus 5000 each of the CBU-104 and -105. Lockheed Martin has now integrated a GPS receiver with the inertial guidance system, and in June 2003 the company was contracted by the US Air Force to develop and test an extended range WCMD-ER, using the LongShot wing kit to give a range of up to 75 km. It is anticipated that 7500 WCMD-ER kits will be built beginning in 2005. The WCMD series will be cleared for the F-15E, B-1,A-10 and F-35 as well.
Inertial navigation is also used by the 660 kg Eads/LFK DWS 24 unpowered dispenser, which is used by the Swedish Air Force under the designation DWS 39. From a low-level release it has a forward throw of more than ten kilometres, or a lateral range of around half that figure. Following the start of series production in 1994, it was decided to allow for high-level release, which doubles effective range, by integrating a GPS receiver. In this form it was purchased by the Hellenic Air Force under the designation of AFDS (Autonomous Free-flight Dispenser System). The Greek version carries 20 runway-cratering bombs, but alternative warloads include 96 anti-materiel submunitions or 120 anti-tank mines.
The Israel Military Industries Msov (Modular Stand-Off Vehicle) is a GPS/INS-guided gliding dispenser with high aspect ratio swing-wings. It weighs 1050 kg and carries a 675 kg warload over a distance of up to 100 km. Proposed loads include 42 runway penetrators, 1332 dual-purpose bomblets and a 450 kg unitary penetrator such as the BLU-110. An unarmed Msov was flight tested in 2000 followed by a test of the complete system from an Israeli Air Force F-15 in October 2003.
The Msov is seen in some quarters as an alternative to the much lighter Raytheon AGM-154 Jsow (Joint Stand-Off Weapon). A Navy-led programme, the Jsow is now in production in two forms: the baseline 474 kg AGM-154A Jsow-A with 145 BLU-97B/B combined effects bombs and GPS/INS navigation, and the 468 kg unitary AGM-154C Jsow-C with a BAE Systems Broach multi-warhead penetrator, a Thales Missile Electronics Marls (Multi-Application Fuze Initiation System) fuze and a Raytheon uncooled IIR seeker with an automatic target recognition (ATA) facility. Average Jsow unit cost to the US services is given as $ 290,000 in the FY2004 budget, reducing to $ 267,000 in FY2005. The Jsow-A was first employed operationally over Iraq in February 2001, and more than 400 have so far been used in combat. During Operation Iraqi Freedom Jsows were dropped only from US Navy and US Marine Corps F/A-18Cs, due to a teething problem with the US Air Force F-16 installation. In July 2003 the US Navy switched some $ 26 million from Jsow-A funds to buy 42 Jsow-Cs, thus launching low-rate initial production of the penetrator, BAE Systems subsequently receiving $ 4.2 million for the Broach warheads.
The first such device is the US Army's 20 kg Northrop Grumman Bat, an unpowered submunition initially intended for dispensing from a variety of platforms in day/night adverse weather attacks on moving armour. The Bat has high aspect ratio wings in cruciform configuration, tandem warheads with secondary fragmentation effects and a parachute to retard it into a steep dive to scan for suitable targets. The wings carry acoustic sensors, which serve to cue a terminal infrared seeker developed by Raytheon. Flight tests began in 1993, and in September 2000 a full load of 13 Bats was successfully dispensed from an Atacms missile. A total of 1300 Bats have been produced under three low-rate initial production contracts for use on the US Army Atacms Block II.
The baseline Bat was successfully tested from the Hunter drone in October 2002, which led to an order for 78 Bats and ejection tubes for use on six Hunters. Viper Strike is a designation for a Bat in which the baseline sensors are replaced by a semi-active laser seeker, to provide a man-in-the-loop system. The Viper Strike is being promoted by Northrop Grumman as the ultimate drone weapon for use in built-up areas under strict rules of engagement; areas requiring minimal collateral damage. Looking to the future, work is continuing on a multiple-mode seeker, with an active millimetric-wave radar and imaging infrared sensor, to allow Bat attacks on stationary targets such as Scud launchers. Four Bats fit inside a US Air Force Tactical Munitions Dispenser (TMD).
An even more brilliant submunition is the Lockheed Martin Locaas (Low-Cost Autonomous Attack System), which was originally envisaged as being unpowered but now has a Technical Directions J45 turbojet providing 0.133 kN thrust. Launch weight is 38.5 kg, including 4.5 kg of fuel. It has a 30-min endurance at 400 km/hr and can cover a search area of 85 km. Four fit inside a TMD, allowing an F-16 to carry a total of 16. Some 16 can be carried internally by the F-22, and 20 by the F-35 or F-117.
The Locaas is GPS-guided, and it searches for targets with a Lockheed Martin developed ladar (laser detection and ranging) seeker that provides a resolution of 15 cm at 1000 metres, permitting various target categories to be identified. Equally impressive is its triple mode warhead by Alliant Techsystems, which is cued by the ladar to generate a long-rod penetrator, an aero-stable slug or disperse in a fragmentation pattern. The first guided flight test took place in February 2002. The programme, which is in the advanced technology demonstration (ATD) phase, is jointly sponsored by Lockheed Martin and the US Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate. Since some attack situations will require a man-in-the-loop for decision-making, a development to be demonstrated in 2005 will downlink the ladar image to a ground station. This presumably accounts for the contract awarded to the company by the Directorate last June for a 30-month proof-of-concept effort to integrate a datalink into an autonomous wide area search munition.
Much in a same way that Northrop Grumman is using an artillery fired submunition for use from drones, Sagem is working on the possibility of adapting the Saab-Giat Bonus warhead under the wings of the Sperwer. Once released, the Bonus operates on the same principle as Textron's Skeet although it spins down on winglets rather than under a parachute. Its nutating motion enables it to scan a closing pattern on the ground, its infrared sensor triggering the down wards-pointing warhead as soon as it encounters a pattern that matches the algorithm stored in its memory.
Russia, however, is probably the first nation to have fielded an air-launched smart munition anti-armour dispenser. Armada initially reported the existence of the SPBE-D version of the RBK-500 cluster bomb as far back as 1994, but it is now known that Region had entered that unit into production in 1987. The 500 kg clamshell door container releases 15 Bazalt sensor-fuzed warheads that operate on the same principle as the Bonus described above.
The standard US Air Force penetration bomb warheads are the BLU-109, -110 and -111, representing the 900, the 450 and the 225 kg classes respectively. The most frequently used is the Lockheed Martin BLU-109/B, which weighs 874 kg in its basic form (i.e., without a guidance kit), contains 240 kg of high explosive and has an Ellwood National Forge (until recently know as National Forge) casing that allows it to penetrate up to 2.4 metres of concrete. Fitted with a Raytheon Paveway III guidance and control kit, the BLU-109/B transforms into the US Air Force's GBU-24A/B, weighing in at 1066 kg. The GBU-24A/B was used operationally from F-111s during the 1991 Gulf War. Adding a GPS/INS unit for semi-precise delivery when the target is obscured produces the EGBU-24E/B Enhanced Paveway III. The BLU-109/B is also used in the 984 kg cropped-wing GBU-27/B, which was developed for internal carriage on the F-117.
Other applications for the BLU-109/B include the Boeing TV/IIR-guided GBU-15 series, the GPS-aided EGBU-15 and the rocket-powered AGM-130 derivative. Turning to the GPS-guided Jdam series, the BLU-109/B equips the US Air Force's 960 kg GBU-31(V)3 and the Navy's corresponding -31(V)4.
The MBDA PGM series is worthy of mention here: although deliveries to its sole customer so far--the United Arab Emirates, for use from the Dassault Mirage 2000-9--are now complete, the line might re-open for repeat orders as the 80 F-16 Block 60 enters service with this nation's Air Force. The PGM comes in two basic versions (2000 lbs and 500 lbs) each available with semi-active laser, television and infrared seeker modules, which actually gives six models to pick from since all seeker modules are interchangeable; regardless of which two bombs they are bolted on to. Both basic models roughly have the same flight performance (approximately 50 km range from high altitude release) since the larger is equipped with a twin rocket motor to overcome the heavier bulk. The weight figures indicated above, incidentally, refer to the mass of the actual bomb not to the complete system. While both types are currently in the process of being qualified on the Block 60, MBDA is also looking at improving the ranges by virtue of more powerful rocket motors and, of course, GPS to guarantee accuracy at longer ranges (both the television and infrared-guided type have metric accuracy).
Russia's guided bombs are exemplified by the smaller (525 kg) TV-guided Region KAB-500Kr, which has a 380-kg penetration warhead, but is also available as a 460 kg fuel-air explosive weapon with a 280 kg warhead (KAB-500Kr-OD).The seeker is locked onto the target while the bomb is still on the parent aircraft, it is then released in a launch-and-leave mode using contrast lock. The same seeker appears to be used in the company's 1500 kg KAB-1500Kr, which includes the 1100 kg penetration warhead from the laser-guided KAB-1500L-Pr. This heavier warhead can penetrate 20 metres of soil or two metres of concrete. An accuracy of better than seven metres is claimed.
Returning to US developments, the special demands of the 1991 Gulf War led to the BLU-113A/B penetrator, with 306 kg of Tritonal and a casing manufactured by Ellwood National Forge from surplus howitzer barrels. The resulting 2130 kg GBU-28A/B Paveway III, which (following retirement of the US Air Force F-111) can now only be dropped from the F-15E. Development of the BLU-113 concept is proceeding on the basis of new casing material (Eglin Steel ES1) and improved explosive (AFX-757). The contract was awarded to General Dynamics.
The next major advance beyond the BLU-113 series is the 874 kg BLU-116/B or Lockheed Martin Advanced Unitary Penetrator (AUP). Unlike its predecessor, it employs a sub-calibre nickel/cobalt steel penetrator filled with PBXN-109 explosive, surrounded by an aluminium stabilising shroud. However, the BLU-116 retains the dimensions and aerodynamics of the BLU-113, hence it can be employed as a Paveway bomb, GBU-15 or AGM-130. The AUP has also been selected for the Boeing AGM-86D ALCM (air-launched cruise missile), discussed later.
The main thrust of US Air Force weapon development for hardened targets has thus relied on heavier bombs with stronger cases, and recently sub-calibre penetrators. The disadvantage of this approach is that the use of such weapons is restricted to bombers and heavy fighters, which can carry only a very limited number of these stores. However, the US Air Force wanted to be able to load an effective number of guided penetration bombs on small aircraft such as the F-16, or internally in the case of the F-22, F-35 and combat drones.
Studies and trials indicated that it was feasible to defeat a large percentage of hard targets with a much lighter weapon, if it combined advanced materials with a very slender shape and a guidance system that gave it an impact roughly normal to the target surface. The result is the 130 kg Boeing GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb (SDB), which can penetrate 1.83 metres of concrete. Boeing is also responsible for its 145 kg BRU-61/A four-bomb rack. The SDB has a Boeing-developed anti-jam GPS and INS guidance system, a cockpit-selectable fuze and a penetrating and blast/fragmentation warhead with 23 kg of high explosive. Fitted with lattice tail controls and the MBDA Diamond Back variable-geometry wing kit it can provide a maximum range of over 110 km. Production deliveries are scheduled to begin in October 2005, and Boeing expects to produce around 24,000 SDBs and 2000 racks for the US Air Force.
Although Lockheed Martin placed second in the SDB contest, in the course of the related work it consequently developed at company expense a precision navigation technique, which it refers to as Pnav (patent pending). The aim was to achieve a direct hit, while avoiding the expense of a missile-mounted seeker. The Pnav evidently employs an improved version of the Relative GPS (RGPS) technique Lockheed Martin had demonstrated under the Amste programme, and which has been described as removing non-random errors from the satellite signals. The corrections can be passed to the bomb or missile either prior to release or during its flight using a low-cost two-way datalink. Various airborne platforms can track the weapon to assess a likely impact point. Lockheed Martin estimates that the Pnav could give the SDB a circular error probability of less than four metres, and the company is proposing the system for use in other air-to-ground applications, including its own 450 kg Owl (On-target Weapon, Long-range) missile programme.
The SDB may well be the most important current advance in penetration technology, but it does not eliminate the need for special weapons to deal with the hardest targets. It may be noted that the US Air Force has tested rocket-boosted versions of the BLU-109-equipped GBU-27/B and the BLU-113-equipped GBU-28A/B, increasing impact speed from Mach 1.0 to 3.5. In the mid-1990s Russia tested the rocket-boosted Bazalt Betab-500ShP.
However, even the heaviest and fastest conceivable air-delivered, conventionally armed weapon appears to be restricted to a maximum penetration in the region of 15 metres of granite. Facilities buried under hundreds of metres of granite can only be attacked successfully (if at all) with nuclear weapons, and then only at the risk of catastrophic fall-out. It may be noted that the US Air Force's current 550 kg, 340kT B61-11 unguided penetrator was designed by Sandia National Laboratories for use against targets buried in soil, not rock.
One of the most widely used rocket-powered tactical missiles is the 210 to 310 kg Raytheon AGM-65 Maverick, which has been produced with three types of guidance and two warheads. Range is up to 24 km. Britain has recently ordered the TV-guided AGM-65G2, having discovering in Kosovo that LGBs cannot be used through cloud. Russia's opposite number is the 700 kg Vympel Kh-29 (AS-14), with television guidance or laser/infrared homing and a range of up to 32 km.
The 1323 kg TV/IIR-guided Boeing AGM-130 referred to earlier has a range of up to 75 km. The 1360 kg Rafael Popeye or AGM-142A Have Nap has a range of 95 km. Its lighter (1125 kg) Have Lite or Popeye 2 derivative is suitable for aircraft such as the F-16.
The Western-world leader in the anti-radiation missile category is the Raytheon AGM-88 Harm, a supersonic missile with passive radar homing and a maximum range of 130 km, The AGM-88D adds a GPS/INS unit so that the engagement can continue if the emitter is switched off. Development is now concentrated on the AGM-88E with a dual-mode (millimetric-wave and passive radar) seeker.
The MBDA Alarm (Air-Launched Anti-Radiation Missile) is the first missile in this category to employ a rocket-boosted climb, followed by a descent on parachute, to give an extended search time. The Alarm is in service with Britain's Royal Air Force, but no export sales have so far been recorded. An active radar version is reported to be under development.
Russia's anti-radiation missile series includes the Zvezda Strela Kh-25MPU (AS-12), which weighs 320 kg and has a range of 40 km, and that company's 600 kg ramjet-powered Kh-31P (AS-17) with a range of 100 km. The rocket-powered supersonic Raduga Kh-58E (AS-11) is claimed to have a range of 160 km.
The anti-radiation missiles trend is toward ramjet power and multi-mode seekers, as illustrated by Germany's 230 kg BGT Armiger. The US Navy is looking at major derivatives of the Harm, with a seeker developed by ATK and a ramjet by Atlantic Research (ARC).
The combination of high aspect ratio wings and an air-breathing engine makes possible ranges far beyond 100 km. For example, the TV-guided 620 kg Boeing AGM-84E Slam (Standoff Land Attack Missile) has stub wings and a range of 100 km, but with long-span fold-out wings it becomes the AGM-84H Slam-ER with a range of 300 km, making it a cruise missile. The much smaller 187 kg IMI Delilah has INS/GPS mid-course guidance, television terminal homing and a range of 250 km.
The US Air Force equivalent of the US Navy's Slam-ER is the Lockheed Martin AGM-158 Jassm (Joint Air-Surface Stand-off Missile), which has GPS/INS navigation, a dual-mode (penetrator and blast-fragmentation) warhead derived from the J-1000 penetrator and a range of 400 km. The Jassm entered low-rate production in 2001, and the 42nd was delivered to a B-52 unit last September, when the system was declared operational. A decision on full-rate production should have been taken by the time these words are published. The US Air Force expects to buy at least 2400 Jassms, and the US Navy is scheduled to buy an initial batch of 453 in FY2007. Development is now proceeding on the expanded response Jassm-ER as a replacement for the Boeing AGM-86C (discussed below). It will have an increased fuel capacity and a turbofan engine in place of the current turbojet, giving a range of 1000 km. Development of the Jassm-ER, which includes nine flight tests, is due for completion in November 2006. The Jassm series is to be deployed on the B-l, B-2, B-52, F-16 and F/A-18. The FY2004 budget request includes 250 units at a cost of $ 410,000 each, and 360 are planned for FY2005 at a similar price.
From Europe, the 1230 kg MBDA Apache carries ten TDA Kriss runway penetrators and combines GPS/INS midcourse guidance with a Thales Promethee radar for terrain-following and target acquisition. The Storm Shadow or Scalp EG is a 1300 kg derivative with a BAE Systems Broach penetration warhead, an IIR terminal seeker and a range of 250 km. It is in service with the RAF's Tornado GR4, which used it operationally and with resounding success during the 2003 strikes on Iraq. It has also been ordered by France, Italy, Greece and the United Arab Emirates for use on the Mirage 2000 and 2000-5 Mk II, the Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon.
The 1400 kg Taurus KEPD350 is a similar development by Eads and Saab Bofors Dynamics, with a TDW Mephisto penetration warhead and a range of 350 km. A batch of 600 is being built for German Air Force Tornados and Eurofighters.
Turning finally to nuclear-armed cruise missiles, MBDA is responsible for further development of France's 300 kT ASMP (Air-Sol Moyenne Portee), which, at the time, was developed by Aerospatiale and entered service in 1986. The resulting ASMPA programme was announced in 2000, and deliveries of the new weapon for the Mirage 2000 NK3 and Rafale are due to begin in 2007. A conventionally armed version was envisaged but finally dropped by France in favour of the (then Matra) Scalp--one reason being that the latter could be more easily exported (and also turned into a submarine- and ship-launched weapon).
America's standard air-launched nuclear strike weapon is the 1430 kg Boeing AGM-86B Alcm (air-launched cruise missile), with a range of around 3000 km. Its conventionally armed derivative is the 1475 kg AGM-86C, which carries a 900/1350 kg warhead and has a reduced range of approximately 1100 km. A penetration version of AGM-86C was used for the first time during the 2003 Iraq war. Russia's equivalent of the AGM-86B is the Raduga Kh-55SM (AS-15), although it is believed that a replacement (Kh-102) is being developed. The conventionally armed versions are reportedly the Kh-555 and Kh-102 respectively.
In considering new ACTDs (advanced concept technology demonstrations) for FY2005, there is growing Pentagon interest in the concept of a Mach 3 to 5 missile with a range of 600 to 1000 km, giving an order of magnitude improvement in penetration probability and response time relative to existing US cruise missiles. One such project is the Pentagon's Shoc (Stand-off High-speed Operation for Counter-proliferation), which has so far lacked service support (notably by the US Navy), but is seen by civilian chiefs as having potential to transform some aspects of warfare. However, the Shoc will doubtless have to compete for funding with other priority concepts, such as new weapons designed specifically to safely destroy chemical and biological weapon production and storage facilities. One proposal is a derivative of the BLU-109 penetrator, which would produce multiple fragments to pierce storage drums and burn for 15 minutes at 1200 degrees C in order to neutralise the released agents, but would generate only a small overpressure in order to minimise their dispersal.
Complete Guide unpowered Weapon name Manufacturer Weapon Weight Warhead [kg] type Paveway III Raytheon 326.60 Mk 82 GBU-22/B Paveway III Raytheon 1131.50 Mk 84 GBU-24/B Paveway III Raytheon 1066.00 BLU-109 GBU-24A/B Paveway III Raytheon 2131.90 BLU-113 GBU-28A/B PB-500A1 IMI 425.00 100 kg explosive Enhanced Paveway Raytheon 557.00 Mk 13/18 II EP2(UK) Enhanced Paveway Raytheon 953.00 Mk 84 II EGBU-10 Enhanced Paveway Raytheon 284.40 Mk 82 EGBU-12 Enhanced Paveway Raytheon 503.50 Mk 82 II EGBU-16 GBU-15 Boeing 1187.10 Mk 84 (max) BLU-109 Raptor 1 Kentron 980.00 550 kg explosive Jdam Boeing 923.50 Mk 84 GBU-31(V)1/B Jdam Boeing 959.40 BLU-109 GBU-31(V)3/B Jdam Boeing 459.50 Mk 83 GBU-32(V)1/B unpowered Weapon name Length/ Wingspan Guidance diameter Paveway III 3251 1680 SAL GBU-22/B 273 Paveway III 4394 1680 SAL GBU-24/B 457 Paveway III 4318 1680 SAL GBU-24A/B 457 Paveway III 5842 1680 GBU-28A/B 368.30 SAL PB-500A1 1803 n/a SAL 269 Enhanced Paveway 3454 1702 SAL II EP2(UK) 419 Enhanced Paveway 4318 1702 SAL II EGBU-10 457 Enhanced Paveway 3327 1321 SAL EGBU-12 273 Enhanced Paveway 3683 1610 SAL II EGBU-16 361 GBU-15 3924 1500 TV/IIR 457 Raptor 1 3650 3700 TV 380 Jdam 3879 635 GPS/INS GBU-31(V)1/B 457 Jdam 3774 635 GPS/INS GBU-31(V)3/B 457 Jdam 3035 498 GPS/INS GBU-32(V)1/B 368.30 cruise Weapon name Manufacturer Weapon Weight Warhead Length/ [kg] weight diameter [kg] AGM-84H Boeing 635 227 4360 Slam-ER 343 Delilah IMI 187 30 2710 330 AGM-158 Lockheed 1020 450 4267 Jassm Martin n/a Storm Shadow MBDA 1300 varies 5100 Scalp ~660 KEPD350 Taurus 1400 varies 5000 ~700 AGM-86B ACLM Boeing 1430 n/a 6320 nuclear 622 AGM86C Boeing 1430 900/ 6320 Calcm 1350 622 cruise Weapon name Wingspan Range Guidance AGM-84H 2182 300 TV Slam-ER Delilah 1150 250 GPS/INS +TV AGM-158 ~2400 400 GPS/INS Jassm Storm Shadow 3000 250 GPS/INS Scalp +TR KEPD350 ~2160 350 GPS/INS +TR+IIR AGM-86B ACLM 3660 3000 INS+TCM AGM86C Calcm 3660 1100 GPS/INS anti-armor Weapon name Manufacturer Weapon Weight Length/ [kg] diameter AGM-114K Lockheed 45.70 1626 Hellfire II Martin 178 Brimstone MBDA 50.00 1800 178 Mokopa Kentron 49.80 1995 178 Ingwe Kentron 28.50 1750 127 9M121 KBP 45.00 2450 Vikhr 130 9M120 KBM 49.50 1830 Ataka-V 130 BGM71F Raytheon 22.60 1168 Tow 2B 147 Hot MBDA 24.00 1270 150 Trigat-LR MBDA 48.00 1620 145 Spike-ER Rafael 33.00 1670 (in container) 170 anti-armor Weapon name Range Guidance AGM-114K 8.00+ SAL Hellfire II Brimstone 8.00+ MMW Mokopa 10.00 SAL Ingwe 5.00 LBR 9M121 10.00 LBR Vikhr 9M120 6.00 Saclos-R Ataka-V BGM71F 3.75 Saclos-W Tow 2B Hot 4.00 Saclos-W Trigat-LR 7.00 IIR Spike-ER 8.00 IIR+FOG tactical Weapon name Manufacturer Weapon Weight Warhead Length/ [kg] Weight diameter [kg] AGM-65 Raytheon 210-307 57-136 2490 Maverick 305 Kh-29TE Vympel 700 317 3900 (AS-14) 400 AGM-130 Boeing 1352 930 3940 460 AGM-142A Rafael 1360 350 4826 Popeye 553 Have Lite Rafael 1125 350 4240 533 AGM-88 Raytheon 360 66 4170 Harm 254 Alarm MBDA 265 class. 4300 224 Kh25MPU Zvezda 320 86 4300 (AS-12) Strela 275 Kh-31P Zvezda 599 87 4700 (AS-17) Strela 360 Kh-58E Raduga 650 152 4800 (AS-11) 380 tactical Weapon name Range Wingspan Guidance AGM-65 24 720 TV/IIR/ Maverick SAL Kh-29TE 30 1100 TV (AS-14) AGM-130 64 1500 TV/IIR AGM-142A 90+ 1727 TV/IIR Popeye Have Lite 90+ 1520 TV/IIR AGM-88 90+ 1130 PRH Harm Alarm ~45 720 PRH est. Kh25MPU 40 ~825 PRH (AS-12) Kh-31P 110 1015 PRH (AS-17) Kh-58E 160 1170 PRH (AS-11) Note: where Kh- appears in a system's nomencleture it denotes the phonetic transcription of the Russian X-.
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|Title Annotation:||Complete Guide|
|Date:||Feb 1, 2004|
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