Procurement: France Has Smarter Bombs



February 13, 2008: France is spending $22 million to upgrade its U.S. made Paveway II laser guided smart bombs to dual mode (able to use laser or GPS guidance). France has been using the Paveway II on its Mirage 2000D fighter-bombers for several years. While laser guidance is the most accurate (able to hit within a few meters of the aim point), the laser guidance often fails in rain or mist (which disperses the laser light beam). Adding GPS guidance (which will land within ten meters of the aim point) provides a backup, or alternative, for the laser guidance. France usually mounts the Paveway guidance kits on 500 pound bombs. French warplanes have been using the American smart bombs in Afghanistan. The first one was dropped on April 1st, 2007.