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IDEF 2023: GIDS developing new guidance kit for ‘dumb' bombs

Global Industrial & Defence Solutions AZB range extension kit for converting Mk 80-series general-purpose bombs into PGM. (Janes/Raghuraman CS)

Pakistan's state-owned Global Industrial & Defence Solutions (GIDS) revealed details of new range-extension and precision-guidance kits under development for Mk 84 general-purpose bombs at the 16th International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF), held in Istanbul from 25 to 28 July.

The prototype wing-assisted guidance kits, designated as AZB-V and AZB-VI, convert the air-droppable, unguided low-drag general-purpose Mk 84 bomb into a long-range, air-to-ground all-weather precision-guided munition (PGM). GIDS has already developed range extension kits (REKs) for other members of the Mk 80 series of bombs – AZB-I for Mk 81 and AZB-II for Mk 82.

The AZB REKs comprise tail and strap‐on deployable wing units. All of the REKs feature a tail section that consists of a Global Positioning System (GPS)‐assisted inertial guidance system, electronics, a control actuation system, a battery, and aerodynamic control surfaces. However, the larger AZB-V and AZB-VI have optional imaging infrared (IIR) sensors for improved accuracy. The AZB-V features an additional booster and also a distinct boost-glide configuration, which enables extended-range capability.

The 80–90 kg-class AZB-I was developed for use from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), whereas the 150–175 kg-class AZB-II can be deployed from UAVs and manned aircraft. According to GIDS, these have operational ranges of 35–50 km (AZB-I) and 50–75 km (AZB-II), with a circular error probable (CEP) of less than 10 m.

The 750–800 kg-class AZB–V and 1,100–1,200 kg-class AZB-VI REKs are being developed for use from fixed-wing aircraft. The claimed operational ranges are 190–220 km for AZB-V and 90–100 km for AZB-VI, with a CEP of up to 10 m without the IIR and 3 m when fitted with the optional sensor.

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