The GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb

Since World War II, the U.S. military has sought to reduce the number of bombs needed to destroy a target through improved accuracy. This saves lives on the ground and reduces the risks to aircrews and aircraft. First-generation GPS-guided bombs were essentially conventional bombs with steerable fins. The Small Diameter Bomb represents a new generation of weapons that greatly reduce the explosive power needed and minimize the effects of so-called “collateral damage” to noncombatants and their property. Its smaller size allows aircraft to carry more weapons and strike up to four times as many targets on a single mission. Its lower weight permits the use of pop-out wings that can give it a glide range of more than 60 miles. It was first used in combat in Iraq during 2006. 

Length: 1 Minutes, 32 Seconds
Type: Film
Image Date: Compiled 2012
Credit: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Origin: United States Air Force
Length: 1 Minutes, 32 Seconds