The CBU-97 Sensor Fuzed Weapon is a US Air Force 1,000-pound Cluster Bomb Unit (CBU). The CBU-97 in conjunction with the unguided gravity bombing techniques is converted to a precision guided weapon with the addition of the ‘smart’ CBU-105 submunitions.
This bomb unit has the capability of destroying 40 tanks at once!
The CBU-97 is comprised of the SUU-66/B tactical munition dispenser that contains 10 BLU-108 ‘smart’ submunitions. Each BLU-108 contains four hockey puck-like sensor-fused projectiles called ‘Skeets’, which gives the CBU-97 a weapon array of 40 individual bombs (skeets).
The ‘skeets’ can detect and engage target vehicles, such as battle tanks, air bases, armored personnel carriers, missile sites, and other support vehicles using a small infrared imager and firing a kinetic energy penetrator downwards at the targets.
The 40 ‘skeets’ can envelop an area measuring nearly 15 acres (1,500 feet by 500 feet) using infrared target imaging and laser sensors, identifying targets by pattern-matching.
When a ‘skeet’ detects a target, it fires a penetrating shaft of explosives along with densely fragmented shrapnel into the target and the surrounding area.
If a ‘skeet’ doesn’t detect a target, it will self-destruct 50 feet above the ground. If the self-destruct mechanism fails, there is a standby timer that disables the ‘skeet.’
These features are intended to avoid incidental civilian casualties from unexploded ordinance. The success rate of the self-destruct munitions is astonishing, reaching over 99% success.
The Singapore Airshow of 2008 had models of the Sensor Fuzed Weapons displayed at the Textron Defense Systems booth.
The results of the SFWs are awe-inspiring, even though it is all very technical.