The Dual Mode Guided Bomb: more versatile, more accurate
By Mike Hanlon
June 9, 2005
June 10, 2005 Tests of the U.S. Navy's latest guided bomb variant the Dual Mode Guided Bomb (DMGB) are going particularly well. The public first became acquainted with guided bombs during the first gulf war through TV imagery of bombs so accurate they could enter specific windows of a building. Of course, the less accurate bombs weren’t shown, though the accuracy improved more than tenfold before the second gulf war. Now the DMGB takes that basic guided munition form factor and makes it even more versatile. When using dual-mode guidance, the Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) data is used to bring the weapon close to the target, with laser guidance used in the terminal phase for improved end-game performance. Though this capability was previously available on very expensive precision guided weapons, the DMGB offers high accuracy and versatility at an unprecedented low price.
The Lockheed Martin Dual Mode Guided Bomb is designed to provide the versatility of selecting the ideal guidance mode for specific targets without multiple weapons being required in inventory.
When using dual-mode guidance, Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) data are used to bring the weapon close to the target, with laser guidance used in the terminal phase for improved end-game performance. GPS/INS guidance allows for a much greater launch envelope than would be possible for a weapon guided by laser only, providing greater versatility in mission planning, as well as enabling the weapon to be used when weather aloft obscures the target. In addition to dual-mode guidance, the DMGB can be used with laser-only or GPS/INS-only guidance only, providing capabilities duplicating either the existing Paveway II laser-guided bombs or GPS/INS guided weapons, such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM).
Laser-guided operation requires the weapon to have line of sight to the target until the target is impacted. During non-visual operation, using solely GPS/INS guidance, the pilot releases the weapon within the launch acceptable region and the DMGB guides itself to the target independently in a "launch-and-leave" mode. This mode is highly accurate enabling precision guidance during adverse weather, clouds, fog and smoke.
Recent tests presented challenging system performance scenarios, exercising multiple modes and varied positions within the LAR (launch acceptable region). All major modes were successfully demonstrated, as well as INS only, simulating a GPS-denied environment. Selectable terminal constraints of impact angle and impact azimuth were also tested successfully. These capabilities were previously only available on very expensive precision guided weapons.
Lockheed Martin continues to work closely with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force on the development of the DMGB. The DMGB program provides low-cost guidance kits for MK 82, 83 and 84 general-purpose warheads. DMGB enables employment of accurate air-to-surface munitions from fighter and bomber aircraft against high-priority fixed, slow moving and relocatable targets.
DMGB has the same basic physical size and shape of the Guided Bomb Unit (GBU) family. It is compatible with all aircraft that currently support the GBU-12, 16 and 10 and JDAM. DMGB provides a GPS/INS guided, highly accurate, all-weather precision guided weapon with laser terminal guidance to meet needs identified during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.