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Encyclopedia > BL755
Primary function: Low-altitude armor piercing bomb
Weight: 582 lb (264 kg)
Length: 96.5 in (2.451 m)
Diameter: 16.5 in (0.419 m)
Payload: 147 fragmentation bomblets
Range: Varies by method of employment

BL755 is a cluster bomb. Its primary targets are armored vehicles and tanks with secondary soft target (anti personnel) capabilities. Cluster bomb exploding A cluster bomb is an air-dropped bomb that ejects multiple small submunitions (bomblets). ... ... A military term refering to an un-armoured or otherwise unprotected object to be destroyed. ...


The BL755 looks like a standard 1,000 lb (450 kg) store but with a hard "saddle" on the spine for ejector release and crutching pad loads and a distinctive large turbine-like air arming vane on the nose. The four rear fins are very squared off in appearance, but on closer inspection can be seen to be hollow and telescopic. A central extruded aluminum skeleton provides seven bays long by seven bays around, each containing 3 submunitions (147 total). These are telescoped and expand to their full length on ejection by a central cartridge and individual "balloon" for each bay. A focal distance standoff and detonating device deploys in front with a stabilizing device aft. They are self contained with their own SAFU (safety and arming unit). Each has a shaped charge for armor penetration, the casing of which is constructed from wound tesselated square wire, reputedly providing about 1400 anti personnel fragments. Together with the debris of other parts of the weapon, total fragment count approaches a quarter of a million. It is rumored the remains of the main weapon skeleton itself has enough kinetic energy to strip the tracks off a tank. The original stabilizing device was a spring steel "coronet". Apparently tests were later performed on a rigid plastic para-cup as a cost saving idea. This was found to be too stable and did not disperse the bomblets sufficiently. Rumor has it that this was resurrected for a dive-bomb attack version. WWII era steam turbine used for ship propulsion. ... A fin is a surface used to produce lift and thrust or to steer while traveling in water, air, or other fluid media. ... Extrusion is a manufacturing process where a billet of material is pushed and/or drawn through a die to create a shaped rod, rail or pipe. ... Aluminum is a soft and lightweight metal with a dull silvery appearance, due to a thin layer of oxidation that forms quickly when it is exposed to air. ... A shaped charge is an explosive charge shaped to focus the effect of the released energy. ... This article may be too technical for most readers to understand. ...

The weapon was developed in the early 1970s by Hunting Engineering, Ltd. of Ampthill, Bedfordshire but manufactured elsewhere at their production facility. This article provides extensive lists of events and significant personalities of the 1970s. ...


The bomb is carried by Harrier, Jaguar, and Tornado planes for release at low-altitudes. After release, extendable fins deploy for added stability. A primary cartridge causes the skins to be stripped exposing the payload. A secondary cartridge then ejects the bomblets (submunitions). This is a "shotgun" weapon. It provides a high probabilty of kill by spreading the many small submunitions evenly over a wide area, each with sufficiently small separation and power to guarranteed to disable or destroy the intended target. Thus pinpoint accuracy is not required, or large dispersed groups of targets can be attacked with one weapon. This is versatile and highly effective weapon against many types of targets. See also Hawker Siddeley Harrier The BAE Systems Harrier FA2 is the latest development of the Sea Harrier fighter/attack aircraft which entered service with the Royal Navy in April 1980. ... The SEPECAT Jaguar is an Anglo-French ground attack aircraft in service with the Armée de lAir, the Royal Air Force and several export customers, notably India. ... The Panavia Tornado is a jet engine fighter-bomber jointly developed as the Multi-role combat aircraft - or MRCA - by Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom. ... Altitude is the elevation of an object from a known level or datum, called zero level. ...

External links

  • Royal Air Force Weapons
  • Dan's History - Cluster Bombs

  Results from FactBites:
RAF - Cluster Bombs (254 words)
The BL755 bomb dispenses its bomblets into the airflow shortly after the weapon leaves the aircraft, and on impact with the ground, or a target, the bomblets detonate, producing a high-velocity plasma jet that can penetrate armour up to 250mm thick.
Both the BL755 and the IBL755 bombs are delivered from low-level attacks.
RBL755 is a modification of the original BL755 to give the cluster bomb an anti-armour capability from a medium-level attack.
  More results at FactBites »



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