RDM receives aircraft bomb order from Asia as it expands bomb lineup

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Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) has secured an additional R40 million contract for the supply of aircraft bombs to an Asia-Pacific customer, after receiving a number of contracts over the last several years.

RDM said it will be making the first deliveries of its recently developed 110 lb/50 kg aircraft bombs (RDM HFB 110) by the first quarter of 2021. It is also supplying high fragmentation variants of its Mk 80 series warheads, including accessories and fuzes.

The HFB 110 is a high fragmentation bomb purposely designed for a light ground attack aircraft and larger unmanned aerial systems. The warhead provides high lethality and predictable fragmentation to provide maximum effectiveness against personnel and light vehicles. The smaller size and standard interfaces are ideal for smaller aircrafts and to enable a larger number of warheads to be carried to provide for greater mission flexibility and to engage a greater number of targets during a single sortie. This smaller compact variant is also known as the ‘baby bomb’, RDM said.

In addition to the 110 lb bomb, RDM is further expanding the portfolio by way of its new high performance ‘penetrator bomb’ or penetration Mk 82 warhead (HPW). The Mk 82 HPW warhead is a high penetration warhead that conforms to standard Mk 82 geometry and mass requirements, minimizing integration and certification requirements and is purposely designed for precision strike missions against hardened structures and targets.

“With its standard geometry and mass properties, the Mk 82 HPW is fully compatible with existing precision guidance kits and enables an easier and more affordable integration with existing guidance systems and combat platforms,” RDM said.

Standard General Purpose Mk 82 warheads have a limited penetration capability of as little as 0.3 metres against 14 MPa (megapascal) concrete. “With its propriety penetrator design, the RDM Mk 82 HPW is capable of achieving increased levels of penetration, penetrating up to 1.8 metres in concrete which exceeds that of far larger warheads, such as the standard Mk 83 and Mk 84, with the penetration performance of RDM’s Mk 82 HPW comparing to that of the BLU-109, which has approximately four times the mass of the Mk 82 HPW and comes at a far greater price,” RDM explained.

This provides the RDM Mk82 HPW with the additional advantages of improved mission flexibility (fewer sorties, a greater amount of targets that can be engaged per sortie), lower cost per target and reduced logistic footprint.

RDM has for years manufactured Mk 80 series bombs, available in Mk 81 (265 lb/120 kg), Mk 82 (550 lb/250 kg), Mk 83 (970 lb/440 kg) and Mk 84 (1 940 lb/880 kg) weights, using TNT, Tritonal, RX/TNT or PBXN fillings. These are available with forged steel (full range), cast iron (Mk 81 and Mk 82) and pre-fragmented castings. A delayed action fuse and can be used for penetrating bunkers. The company also makes 27lb (12.5kg) practice bombs, which are available in smoke and flash fillings.