The German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and in Service Support (BAAINBw) has now also selected the FBM21 to be used the future bomb fuze for the German Air Force.
FBM21 represents the most recent development bomb fuze within NATO countries and is designed to be compatible with both general purpose (dumb) bombs as well as advanced guided systems for all purpose missions and hardened targets.
The fuze design is a technological breakthrough incorporating a state-of-the-art electronic safety and arming device (ESAD) utilising missile technology taking advantage of high-voltage pyrotechnic ignition systems fully compliant with Stanag 4187.
This bomb fuze provides unequalled performance in terms of safety, reliability and operational flexibility. The fuze is highly resistant to long flight vibrations and temperature fluctuations and has the ability to sustain severe penetration shock, as well as possessing a high level of immunity to electromagnetic environments.
The fuze meets all known current and future requirements of modern Air Forces it was introduced into service in 2009 and has been deployed in various theatres of operation on a range of weapons, including AASM, Paveway 2, Enhanced Paveway 2, Paveway 3, fitted to MK80 series general purpose bombs, CBEMS or BLU109 penetration bombs.
Today’s strike missions impose stringent requirements for accurate delivery of weapons to the target to minimise the potential for collateral damage, and this combined with increased target effectiveness, reduces the number of sorties required. The rapidly changing demands of modern military engagements have resulted in the need to respond to real-time information. As a consequence, rapid reactions to changing mission requirements are necessary, which may include in flight retargeting of the munition and re-setting of the fuzing system to ensure optimised effectiveness at the target.
This mission flexibility is achieved via the use of precision guided munitions (combination of a guidance kit, a standard bomb body and a fuze), active communication from the aircraft to the fuze and the fuze itself having the ability to interface with a height of burst sensor.
The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) is currently deploying advanced weapons using the JDAM and Enhanced Paveway 2 guidance kits from its Tornado and Eurofighter fighter aircraft.
The FBM21 bomb fuze has been selected by the German Ministry of Defence (BAAINBw) to be integrated with these precision guided munitions and communicate with their serial data interface (MIL – STD – 1760 Standard) , allowing in-fight fuze setting from the cockpit. This derivative from the legacy FBM21 becomes the FBM21 XP version.
FBM21 XP allows the setting of the following FBM21 functions/mission parameters by the pilot:
* Detonation at impact (PD)
* Detonation at distance from the target by receiving a firing order from a HOB sensor, thus improving the blast and fragment effects.
* Detonation after having received a firing order from a HOB sensor, and, after a programmed delay, allowing the defeat of targets covered by soft covers (target hidden under a canopy, or below a soft roof)
* Detonation at impact and after a programmed delay (PID) allowing the attack of buried targets, or the defeat of hard infrastructures.
Junghans is currently contracted to perform a verification program of the FBM21 XP with the Boeing and Raytheon companies, while BAAINBw, using its test centres at Meppen, Greding and Manching conduct a complementary qualification programme.
This new version of FBM21 will be fully validated by the 4th quarter of 2014. Full deployment within the Luftwaffe is expected by 2016.
Enhanced Paveway 2
The Enhanced Paveway 2 is a dual-mode guided bomb designed to effectively operate in all weather conditions. Enhanced Paveway 2 features a GPS-aided Inertial Navigation System as well as a laser guidance system to offer one precision guided weapon for all situations. The resulting dual-mode capability offers true all-weather operational flexibility: GPS guidance when required for mobile targets of opportunity.
The addition of GPS/INS system to the Paveway 2 LGB weapon provides increased delivery accuracy, improved in-flight wind corrections, increased low-level performance, and expanded delivery envelopes. Enhanced Paveway 2 is produced by the Raytheon Company in Tuscon, Arizona (USA)
Paveway GBU system is integrated aboard the Gripen and is supplied to the SAAF via Atlantis Corporation.
Raytheon also produce a common bomb pylon utilising wireless technology to allow non-data bus equipped aircraft to drop Paveway Legacy designs programmed by the pilot.