Mark 84 bomb


The Mark 84 or BLU-117[2] is an American general-purpose bomb. It is the largest of the Mark 80 series of weapons. Entering service during the Vietnam War, it became a commonly used US heavy unguided bomb (due to the amount of high-explosive content packed inside) to be dropped. At the time, it was the third largest bomb by weight in the US inventory behind the 15,000-pound (6,800 kg) BLU-82 "Daisy Cutter" and the 3,000-pound (1,400 kg) M118 "demolition" bomb. It is currently sixth in size due to the addition of the 5,000 lb (2,300 kg) GBU-28 in 1991, the 22,600 lb (10,300 kg) GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB) in 2003[citation needed], and the 30,000 lb (14,000 kg) Massive Ordnance Penetrator.

Mark 84 General Purpose (GP) Bomb
Mk-84 xxl.jpg
A Mk 84 GP bomb
TypeLow-drag general-purpose bomb
Place of originUnited States
Production history
DesignerGeneral Dynamics
ManufacturerGeneral Dynamics
Unit cost$3,100[1]
Mass2039 lb (925 kg)
Length129 in (3280 mm)
Diameter18 in (458 mm)

FillingTritonal, Minol or Composition H6
Filling weight945 lb (429 kg)


An aviation ordnance technician handling the bomb body of a "thermally protected" (insulated to slow cook-off time in case of fire) Mark 84 aboard the USS George Washington
Sailors remove hoisting sling from a crate containing a pair of Mark 84 bomb bodies. Tailfins and fuzes have not yet been fitted

The Mark 84 has a nominal weight of 2,000 lb (907 kg), but its actual weight varies depending on its fin, fuze options, and retardation configuration, from 1,972 to 2,083 lb (894 to 945 kg). It is a streamlined steel casing filled with 945 lb (429 kg) of Tritonal high explosive.[1]

The Mark 84 is capable of forming a crater 50 feet (15 m) wide and 36 ft (11 m) deep. It can penetrate up to 15 inches (38 cm) of metal or 11 ft (3.4 m) of concrete, depending on the height from which it is dropped, and causes lethal fragmentation to a radius of 400 yards (370 m).[3]

Many Mark 84s have been retrofitted with stabilizing and retarding devices to provide precision guidance capabilities. They serve as the warhead of a variety of precision-guided munitions, including the GBU-10/GBU-24/GBU-27 Paveway laser-guided bombs, GBU-15 electro-optical bomb, GBU-31 JDAM and Quickstrike sea mines.[4] The HGK is a Turkish guidance kit used to convert 2000-lb Mark 84 bombs into GPS/INS guided smart bombs.[5]

According to a test report conducted by the United States Navy's Weapon System Explosives Safety Review Board (WSESRB) established in the wake of the 1967 USS Forrestal fire, the cooking off time for a Mk 84 is approximately 8 minutes 40 seconds.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Mk84 General Purpose Bomb". Federation of American Scientists. 23 April 2000. Archived from the original on 6 November 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  2. ^ "Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Estimate Procurement of Ammunition" (PDF). US Air Force. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 April 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
  3. ^ Don, Holloway (March 1996). "STEALTH SECRETS OF THE F-117 NIGHTHAWK: Its development was kept under wraps for 14 years, but by 1991, the F-117 nighthawk had become a household word". Aviation History. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Cowles Magazines. ISSN 1076-8858.
  4. ^ "Mk 65 Quick Strike Mine". Federation of American Scientists. 8 December 1998. Archived from the original on 18 September 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  5. ^ "Precision Guidance Kit (HGK)". TÜBİTAK-SAGE. 2013. Archived from the original on 22 February 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.

External linksEdit

  • Mk65 Quick Strike Mine
  • Mk84 General Purpose Bomb