Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: CBU-87/B and Combined Effects Munitions
Origin: United States of America
Aerojet Rocketdyne and Honeywell
Parent System: CBU-87
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1986
Total Production: ?
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Description: The 1,000-pound CBU-87 Combined Effects Munitions (CEM) is a submunitions dispenser designed to engage multiple targets grouped on a wide area in both conditions stationary or on the move. This dispenser carries 202 bomblets, the BLU-97/B, which are capable of destroying soft targets such as light armored vehicles or personnel.
When the CBU-87 cluster bomb is dropped by an attack aircraft, the FZU-39 proximity sensor takes care of detonating the pyrotechnic device that frees the 202 BLU-97 warheads. Then the 202 BLU-97s spread out over an area of approximately 100,000 square meters on the ground. The BLU-97s can be freed at different selectable altitudes to cover a wider or tighter area.
Coupled with the Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD) tail kit the CBU-87 CEM turns into an improved precision weapon that can be released at higher altitudes. Actually, the US Air Force was procuring WCMD in large numbers to convert its cluster bombs into weapons that can be released at higher altitudes to help improve aircraft survivability.
The CBU-87 CEM was successfully used in Iraq during operation Desert Storm. More than 10,000 of such a weapon were dropped during this campaign scoring excellent results which encouraged development of further weapons based on the BLU-97 warhead.
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