IAF successfully flight-tests glide bomb with precision strike

The Indian air Force on Friday successfully tested an indigenously developed light weight glide bomb, a Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW), from the test ranges at ITR in Chandipur, Odisha.

The guided bomb released from the aircraft and guided through precision navigation system, reached the targets at greater than 70 km range, with high accuracies. A total of three tests with different release conditions and ranges were conducted and all were successful, a DRDO release said.

The guided bomb has been developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI), DRDO along with other laboratories of DRDO and Indian Air Force.

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated the DRDO scientists and Indian Air Force for the successful tests. Secretary, department of defence R&D and chairman DRDO, S Christopher, congratulated the team and said SAAW will be inducted soon into the armed forces.

Director general of Missiles and Strategic System G Satheesh Reddy said it's a major milestone in the indigenous capabilities to develop guided bombs.

SAAW is a smart weapon weighing around 120 kg, which is capable of engaging targets with high precision up to a range of 100 km. This will allow the IAF to easily hit targets across the border without putting the pilot and aircraft at risk. It can be integrated into almost all types of fighter jets with the IAF.

The weapon can be used to destroy bunkers, runways, aircraft hangers and other reinforced structures.

A glide bomb or stand-off bomb is described as a standoff weapon with flight control surfaces to give it a flatter, gliding flight path than that of a conventional bomb without such surfaces. This allows it to be released at a distance from the target rather than right over it, allowing a successful attack without the aircraft needing to survive until reaching the target.

The Germans are said to have pioneered the use of remote control systems during World War II, with glide bombs like the Fritz X and Henschel Hs 293, which allowed the controlling aircraft to direct the bomb to a pinpoint target as a pioneering form of precision-guided munition.