Weapon Systems

UK's customizable Paveway IV bomb proves effective across array of target scenarios


Innovative guidance helps the Paveway IV hit targets, including hardened bunkers buried deep in the ground, with extreme accuracy and effectiveness.

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A Paveway IV laser guided bomb is pictured beneath a Harrier GR9 in Helmand, Afghanistan, on December 31, 2008. [UK Ministry of Defense]
A Paveway IV laser guided bomb is pictured beneath a Harrier GR9 in Helmand, Afghanistan, on December 31, 2008. [UK Ministry of Defense]

The Paveway IV -- a laser-guided bomb that "revolutionized" tactical air-to-ground warfare by converting "dumb" bombs into precision-guided munitions -- is playing a key role in recent UK and US strikes against Houthi targets in the Red Sea.

Newer versions of the Paveway IV are equipped with the Global Positioning System (GPS) and an inertial navigation system (INS), helping guide the weapon to its target.

In addition to traditional laser guidance, the innovative GPS and INS guidance ensures target accuracy in all weather conditions and allows pilots to bomb from safe altitudes.

Frontline usage of the Paveway IV began in 2008, according to Defense Industry Daily.

Britain updated earlier versions of the bomb with improvements to reduce collateral damage, enhance moving target capability and add a penetrator warhead.

The "bunker-busting" version of the Paveway IV, in service since 2019, is designed to penetrate hard targets like concrete or targets buried deep in the ground.

The penetrating version has similar capabilities to the 907kg BLU-109 bomb previously used for bunker-busting missions. However, at 227kg, the Paveway IV is a fourth of the BLU-109's weight.

In a major milestone in 2015, a Royal Air Force (RAF) testing program demonstrated that the Paveway IV bombs also can be released from an F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

The F-35 Lightning II, equipped with stealth technology and supersonic speed, adds additional stealth delivery for the Paveway IV.

The UK has relied on the Paveway IV for precision strikes in a variety of arenas, and the bomb has seen heavy use in RAF campaigns in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq.

The Paveway IV is equipped with a variety of attack modes that can be programmed from the cockpit during a mission.

The pilot can program the bomb's angle of attack and direction of impact, improving target accuracy and reducing collateral damage in densely populated areas.

An additional fuse mechanism allows detonation to be programmed for a predetermined height above the ground in "airburst" mode, upon impact at ground level or for delayed detonation after impact, which maximizes the bomb's effect on hardened targets by ensuring that more of the blast takes place inside.

Protecting international shipping

The Paveway IV has been among the weapons used by the UK and US militaries to strike Houthi targets in Yemen.

The US military on February 5 said it had struck uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) operated by the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, days after a wave of joint strikes with Britain aimed at stopping continued attacks on international shipping.

"US forces identified the explosive USVs in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined they presented an imminent threat to US Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region," US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement.

The strikes against the two USVs, essentially explosive-laden drone boats, were carried out at 3:30pm local time, CENTCOM said, and follow repeated unilateral and joint actions taken by the United States against the Houthis, whose attacks have disrupted global trade.

US forces also launched air strikes against five missiles in Yemen on February 4, one designed for land attack and the others for targeting of ships, the US military said.

Late February 3, US and UK forces carried out their third wave of joint strikes, which hit 36 Houthi targets across 13 locations, according to a statement by the United States, Britain and other countries that provided support for the operation.

In their initial retaliatory strikes on January 11, the United States and UK attacked 28 Houthi targets across Yemen, using more than 100 precision-guided weapons, including Paveway IV bombs.

The Paveway IV bombs were delivered against the Houthi targets by four Eurofighter Typhoon fighters from the RAF, CNN reported.

The Houthis began targeting Red Sea shipping in November.

In addition to strikes against the Houthis, the United States has set up a multinational naval task force aimed at protecting shipping on the transit route, which carries up to 12% of global trade.

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Does it have the potential to kill civilians and displaced Palestinians
Please don't delete the post if you have freedom of opinion


If so, why were you defeated in Afghanistan and forced to leave? Hehehehehehe!


We hate USA


America is an enemy to Arabs and Muslims.


Please spread humanity among people and abandon the work of destruction.


Damn you, together with America and Britain!


Allah and all people damn you!


May Allah damn America and Britain! They're vampires!