BLU-109 bomb


The BLU-109/B is a hardened penetration bomb used by the United States Air Force (BLU is an acronym for Bomb Live Unit). As with other "bunker busters", it is intended to penetrate concrete shelters and other hardened structures before exploding. In addition to the US, it is part of the armament of the air forces of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates.[1]

BLU-109 aboard F-15E.jpg
A BLU-109 aboard an F-15E Strike Eagle configured as a JDAM
TypeFree-fall penetration bomb (guided when equipped as JDAM or Paveway)
Place of originUnited States
Mass1,927 lb (874 kg)
Length7 ft 11 in (2.41 m)
Diameter14.6 in (370 mm)
A BLU-109 aboard a General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon configured as a JDAM
F-16I (Israeli Air Force) with BLU-109 forged steel point tip, and a BLU109 JDAM, 2,000 lb (910 kg) bunker buster penetration bomb


The BLU-109/B has a steel casing about 1 inch (25 mm) thick, filled with 530 pounds (240 kg) of Tritonal. It has a delayed-action tail-fuze. The BLU-109 entered service in 1985. It is also used as the warhead of some marks of the GBU-15 electro-optically guided bomb, the GBU-27 Paveway III laser-guided bomb, and the AGM-130 rocket-boosted weapon. This weapon can penetrate 4–6 feet (1.2–1.8 m) of reinforced concrete,[2] which is greater than the 3 feet (91 cm) capability of the Small Diameter Bomb.[3]


The BLU-118 is reportedly a thermobaric explosive filler variation on the BLU-109 casing and basic bomb design.[4] It contains PBXIH-135, a traditional explosive.[5]

In 2015 General Dynamics started a $7.2 million development of a version called HAMMER, which is intended to destroy chemical and biological substances by spreading dozens of Kinetic Fireballs Incendiaries (KFI) (not explosions) inside a bunker. The KFIs have evolved out of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program by Exquadrum, Inc. of Adelanto, California.[6]


The BLU-109 has been sold to key US allies including South Korea, Israel, Greece, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Pakistan and Turkey[7][8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Forecast International (2004). BLU-116/B Archived 10 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, page 4. Accessed 12 May 2011.
  2. ^ "BLU-109 / I-2000 / HAVE VOID". Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Small Diameter Bomb". Boeing. Archived from the original on 27 March 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  4. ^ "BLU-118/B Thermobaric Weapon". Archived from the original on 27 July 2019. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  5. ^ Little, Robert. "A race to get a new bomb for cave war". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  6. ^ Drew, James. "Pentagon taps General Dynamics to test fireball bunker bomb Archived 19 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine"
  7. ^ The Most “Political” of All Bombs. Archived 6 September 2018 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "BLU-109/B (Bomb Live Unit)".
  9. ^ "BLU-109/B (Bomb Live Unit)".

External linksEdit

  • BLU-109/B Hard-target Warhead fact sheet, at Hill AFB website, US air Force