Stealth fighters use new munitions to hit Baghdad
Several F-117 Nighthawks belonging to the 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., are prepared for a mission. The F-117s are deployed to
Southwest Asia in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. James D. Mossman)
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM (ACCNS) -- U. S. Air Force F-117 stealth fighters struck five strategic targets in Baghdad March 21 using a new
precision-guided munition, the EGBU-27, as Coalition forces turned the Operation Iraqi Freedom air campaign into high gear.
Using the low-observable, stealth technology of the F-117 to penetrate deep into Iraq and the improved bombs, the strike missions were able to
precisely hit communication nodes and command bunkers in Baghdad Friday night, said Major Clint "Q" Hinote, an F-117 pilot assigned to the Coalition
Air Operations Center at a desert air base in Southwest Asia.
"The F-117 has been given some very tough assignments in this war and our people and aircraft have performed superbly. We are making important
contributions to the Coalition team working to disarm and liberate Iraq," Major Hinote said.
The aircraft and their pilots aren't the only stars of the mission. The new EGBU-27s are also playing an important part.
The "E" stands for "Enhanced," reflecting recent upgrades to the traditional GBU-27. The EGBU-27 now has a satellite-guidance system to supplement
the laser guidance system.
When weather or obstruction prevents the bomb from adjusting its flight to hit the laser spot on a target, the new "smarter bomb" automatically
employs the new satellite guidance system. This allows the bomb to reach its target using target coordinates programmed by the pilot or the latest
coordinates of the laser, explained the bomb's program manager, Jim Ogan of Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
The enhanced bomb gives this deep-strike fighter the ability to precisely hit a target in all kinds of weather. The upgrade came just in time. The Air
Force defined a need for a satellite-guided capability for the stealth fighter after Operation Allied Force and the Air Force acquisition community
rapidly developed, tested and fielded the EGBU-27.
The Air Force employed the new bomb operationally for the first time March 20 against strategic targets in Baghdad on the very first night of the war,
Major Hinote said. "Our new weapon helps us contribute to the overall objectives of the campaign by precisely targeting the Iraqi leadership without
hurting the innocent citizens of Iraq." (Courtesy of Combined Forces Air Component Command Public Affairs)
[Edited on 25-3-2003 by Never Sleeps]