Paveway II & III
Paveway II is a precision laser-guided bomb that can be dropped from low to medium level and is homed onto its target by the airborne LITENING III pod or from troops on the ground using a laser designator.
The bomb's guidance package steers the bomb onto the source of reflected laser energy. Paveway III is an upgrade designed specifically to defeat hardened targets such as protected underground command posts. Paveway III equips Tornado GR4 aircraft.
Dimensions & Specifications
Length: 3.68m (PII) 4.45m (PIII)
Width: 0.42m (PII) 0.92m (PIII)
Weight: 546kg (PII) 1,140kg (PIII)
A tail unit is fitted with fins that deploy after launch from the aircraft. Laser designation of targets can be provided by the Thermal Imaging Airborne Laser Designation (TIALD) pod, or from troops on the ground using a laser target designator.
The bomb's guidance package takes over on release from the aircraft and steers the bomb on to the source of reflected laser energy. The bomb can be dropped from low or medium level. During the Gulf War of 1991, Tornado aircraft dropped weapons on targets designated by Tornados carrying TIALD pods and by Buccaneers carrying the Pave Spike pod.
When Paveway III is released from an aircraft it flies on a pre-programmed course towards its target, using a flight profile designed to give it the best approach to achieve a successful attack. It carries a 900kg penetrator warhead that is steered to the target by a more advanced and precise guidance package, compared with that fitted to the smaller Paveway II bomb. Steerable vanes on the front of the bomb are controlled by a proportional guidance system that increases accuracy, and its range by limiting the amount of kinetic energy lost in maneuvering. Computer-controlled shaping of the attack trajectory maximises the bomb's capacity for penetrating a considerable depth of reinforced concrete to destroy a target.
The centre of WWII RAF operations from 1942.