Precision-guided munition

"Smart bombs", used to strike targets precisely "Smart munition" redirects here. For weapon systems customized to a single person, see Smart gun.

Afghan Air Force GBU-58 guided bomb strikes a Taliban compound in Farah Province, Afghanistan

A precision-guided munition (PGM, smart weapon, smart munition, smart bomb) is a guided munition intended to precisely hit a specific target, to minimize collateral damage and increase lethality against intended targets. During the First Gulf War guided munitions accounted for only 9% of weapons fired, but accounted for 75% of all successful hits. Despite guided weapons generally being used on more difficult targets, they were still 35 times more likely to destroy their targets per weapon dropped.

Because the damage effects of explosive weapons decrease with distance due to an inverse cube law, even modest improvements in accuracy (hence reduction in miss distance) enable a target to be attacked with fewer or smaller bombs. Thus, even if some guided bombs miss, fewer air crews are put at risk and the harm to civilians and the amount of collateral damage may be reduced.

The advent of precision-guided munitions resulted in the renaming of older bombs "unguided bombs", "dumb bombs", or "iron bombs".

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Main article: missile guidance A laser-guided GBU-24 (BLU-109 warhead variant) strikes its target

Recognizing the difficulty of hitting moving ships during the Spanish Civil War, the Germans were first to develop steerable munitions, using radio control or wire guidance. The U.S. tested TV-guided (GB-4), semi-active radar-guided... ...read more

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