Air Weapons: Tank Seeking Little Robots Head East


December 13, 2010: India has purchased 512 American CBU-105 half ton bombs. Each of these bombs is actually a container carrying 40 BLU-108/B SFW bomblets. These were originally called SADARM (Search And Destroy Armor Munitions). Individual SADARMs have their own radar and heat sensor that searches for armored vehicles below and destroys them with a special shaped charge warhead. The SADARM sensors can search and attack vehicles within an area of roughly 150 x 360 meters, as they slowly descend. SADARM, or "sensor fused munitions" are 1980s era weapons that are also carried by artillery (or mortar) shell or artillery rocket. The self-forging metal projectile used by SADARN punches through the thinner armor on the top of the vehicle. If a target is not found, SADARM self-destructs.

The first use of the CBU-105 was on April 2nd, 2003, when a B-52 dropped six of them on an Iraqi army column moving south from Baghdad. Most of the vehicles were later found destroyed.

The Russians have a version of their own, SPBE-D, for sale to anyone who can pay for it. The American CBU-105 is preferred because the United States pioneered the technology, and demonstrated it could work in combat. India faces a large force of Pakistani tanks, and SADARMs are an inexpensive and quick way to destroy lots of armored vehicles.

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