Israel’s 500-lb Super-smart Bomb

Singapore Air Show » 2012
IMI’s MPR-500
IMI’s MPR-500 bomb. Photo by David McIntosh.
February 15, 2012, 3:45 PM

It may look just like the regular Mk 82 500-pounder that is used the world over, but IMI’s MPR-500 is an altogether smarter beast. Israel Military Industries (Booth Q66) has developed a bomb that is identical to the Mk 82 in terms of form and fit, but that has an advanced warhead that offers the penetration capability of much larger weapons such as the 2,000-pound Mk 84, yet with greatly reduced collateral damage effect (CDE).

Although it can be used as an unguided bomb, the MPR-500 is most effective when used with various precision guidance options, such as laser, infrared or GPS/inertial. This week IMI announced that the warhead had been pronounced by Boeing as “compatible” with the U.S. company’s widely used JDAM GPS/inertial guidance package.

IMI’s warhead is capable of penetrating through more than a meter of reinforced concrete, and can punch through up to four 200-millimeter wall or floor slabs in succession. The weapon drives a straight path through the obstacles, virtually eliminating “J” effects that cause the warhead to deflect and explode incorrectly. The concentrated blast effect of the 26,000 controlled fragments reduces the CDE radius to around 100 meters.

The company also is showing its ATALD advanced tactical air-launched decoy, and is highlighting the new Whip Shot precision-strike weapon. This is a 15-kg (approximately 33 pounds) weapon with a six-kilogram (approximately 14 pounds) warhead and is envisioned for use by light attack/armed reconnaissance (LAAR) class aircraft. It offers a rapid-targeting capability against a variety of targets over a ground range of around five kilometers (three miles).

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