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The MK-84 is a free-fall, nonguided GP 2,000-pound bomb. The MK 80 series Low Drag General Purpose (LDGP) bombs are used in the majority of bombing operations where maximum blast and explosive effects are desired. LDGP bombs are designed to be aerodynamically streamlined. Their cases are relatively light and approximately 45 percent of their complete weight is explosive. General purpose bombs may use both nose and tail fuzes and conical or retarded tail fins. Normal fuzes are the mechanical M904 (nose) and the M905 (tail). Most of the over 12,000 MK-84s expended during Desert Storm were dropped by Air Force F-15Es, F-16s and F-111Fs; less than 1,000 of the total were dropped by Marine Corps tactical aircraft.

The MK84 AIR is a 2,000 pound bomb modified with a BSU-50/B high drag tail assembly. The "ballute" air bag which deploys from the tail provides a high speed, low altitude delivery capability by quickly slowing the bomb and allowing the aircraft to escape the blast pattern. The tail assembly consists of a low-drag canister unit containing a ballute (combination balloon and parachute), and a release lanyard assembly that opens the canister releasing the ballute. The ballute assembly is made from high strength low porosity nylon fabric. When the bomb is released from the aircraft a lanyard unlatches the back cover which opens, releasing part of the nylon bag/retarder. Air turbulence at the rear of the bomb acts on that portion of the retarder, pulling the remainder out of the housing. Ram air inflation is accomplished through four air inlet ports toward the aft end of the ballute. The weapon can be delivered in the low-drag mode (canister remains closed after release) or in the high drag mode. The pilot may select either a high drag or low drag configuration depending on mission requirements.

The MK-80 series was developed in the 1950s in response to the need for bombs producing less aerodynamic drag. All MK-80 series bombs are similar in construction. MK-80 series bombs are cylindrical in shape and are equipped with conical fins or retarders for external high-speed carriage. They are fitted for both nose and tail fuzes to ensure reliability and produce effects of blast, cratering, or fragmentation. During Desert Storm the MK-80 series of bombs were dropped from literally every fixed-wing aircraft that supported the ground offensive. The bombs were used against a wide variety of targets, including artillery, trucks, bunkers, Scuds, surface-to-air missile sites, antiaircraft artillery sites, early warning radars, and supply points.


Class 2,000 lb. General Purpose Bomb/Fragmentation
Guidance Ballistic
Control: None
Autopilot: None
Propulsion: None
Weight 2039 lbs.
Length 129 in.
Diameter 18 in.
Explosive 945 lbs. H-6 or Tritonal
Fuze Variety of mechanical or electrical
Stabilizer BSU-50 AIR
MK-84 Conical Fin
Unit Cost $3,100
Aircraft A-10A

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Maintained by John Pike
Updated Sunday, April 23, 2000 7:24:33 AM

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