US sends Israel smart bombs to match Syrian missiles for Hizballah
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 9, 2010, 9:22 PM (GMT+02:00)
The United States recently renewed supplies to the Israeli Air Force of GBU-28 Hard Target Penetrators and GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs, as well as Attack Munitions (LDJAM) for more accurate targeting of bombs, debkafile’s military sources report. In Moscow, Israeli president Shimon Peres said to Russian president Dmitry Medvedev Sunday, May 9, that Syria has only one object in arming the Lebanese Hizballah with missiles and that is warmongering.
That same day, US defense sources, normally chary of releasing information about US arms supplies to Israel, reported that Washington had released substantial quantities of smart bombs to different types to Israel, most of them suitable for striking Hizballah fortifications in Lebanon and Hamas tunnels in the Gaza Strip.
They fall into three categories:
1. The 2,268 kilo (5,000 pound), laser-guided Bomb Unit GBU-28 (nicknamed “Deep Throat”) Hard Target Penetrator which can burrow 31 meters into earth or 6.2 meters into reinforced concrete. They can penetrate the stronger Hizballah installations or be used on Iranian nuclear weapons or missile installations, if so decided.
2. The Small Diameter 113 kilo GBU for IAF F-15I fighter-bombers, to be followed by the supplies for F-16I planes, which can be used against simpler installations, like the arms-smuggling tunnels dug by Hamas between Egypt and the Gaza Strip and Hizballah’s field fortifications.
They are small enough for fighter-bombers to carry in larger numbers, but they have a 5-8 meter margin of error with no more than a 50:50 chance of hitting the target.
3. However, the Laser-Guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions (LJDAM), also on the list of arms supplies to the Israeli Air Force, directs smart bombs more accurately. Developed jointly by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems and Israel’s Elbit Systems, LJDAM improves the accuracy of bombs fired from a maximum distance of 28 kilometers in most weathers.
debkafile’s Washington sources report that the Obama administration decided to release this data to dispel rumors of a US arms embargo against Israel, especially of items that would enable Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear installations. The GBU-28 “Deep Throat” has that capability and is one of those items.
US defense sources declined to comment on the debkafile report of March 28, according to which President Barak Obama halted the delivery of advanced, high-precision bunker-buster Joint Direct Attack Munition-JDAM bombs to Israel on March 28, after Vice President Joe Biden ended his visit to Jerusalem. These bombs were already en route to Israel when they were diverted instead to the US base of Diego Garcia, thereby initiating an arms embargo designed to prevent an Israeli strike against Iran.
To read that article, click here.