- Aircraft weapons
Laser-guided bombs were originally free-fall bombs. The bombs are equipped with a laser-aiming head and control fins. During the last part of the flight, the bomb is directed to its target.
- GBU-10: 2,000 pounds, approx. 900 kg.
- GBU-12: 500 pounds, 225 kg.
In use with Royal Netherlands Air Force
Laser-guided bombs have a high degree of accuracy. To achieve that accuracy, the target has to be 'painted' by a laser target-acquisition system. That 'painting' can be done from an aircraft or from a source on the ground.
The laser target-acquisition system consists of a pod containing a laser-guided target-acquisition unit and a video camera.
The AN/AAQ-14 can also be used in conjunction with the Maverick missile. In that case, due to the greater range of the system's forward-looking infrared sensor (FLIR), the system can make it possible to acquire the target earlier. The information about the target is then automatically passed from the targeting pod to the Maverick missile. Although this missile also has infrared target-acquisition capabilities, the range of its own system is not as great as that of the AN/AAQ-14.
The system can be used by aircraft of different types, such as the mid-life update version of the F-16. During Operation Allied Force, the NATO operations related to the Kosovo crisis in 1999, the air force used approximately 280 laser-guided bombs against targets in Yugoslavia.