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GPS and Weapons Technology PowerPoint Presentation

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Published on : Jan 08, 2015
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Slide 1 - “The Dragon’s Jaw:” Thanh Hoa Bridge over the Song Ma River, North Vietnam c. 1970
Slide 2 - “The Dragon’s Jaw,” take 2: May 1972.
Slide 3 - GPS and Weapons Technology Rob Barnett 04/10/06
Slide 4 - “War is permeated by technology to the point that every single element is either governed by or at least linked to it… it is no less true that every part of technology affects war.” -- Martin Van Crevald
Slide 5 - Bombs Explosive material packed into a sturdy case with a triggering device “Dumb bombs:” falls straight to ground when dropped Problem: very hard to drop a bomb accurately from any high altitude Solution: precision weapons
Slide 6 - Precision Weapons Self-guiding explosives or munitions – use built-in control system and adjustable flight fins Force multipliers that maximize efficient use of resources Reduce unintended “collateral damage” to non-military targets 3 types: radio-controlled, laser-guided, satellite guided Unit-27 Enhanced Guided Bomb (
Slide 7 - Remote-Controlled Weapons Video or infrared camera relays information to plane, where remote operator steers bomb towards target Camera keeps target in center of display – automatically directs bomb through air Developed by U.S. and Germans in WWII, used primarily in Korea and Vietnam GBU-15 TV/IR Bomb (
Slide 8 - Laser-Guided Weapons Bomb equipped with a “laser seeker” sensitive to laser beam at a certain frequency Laser “planted” on target by human operator in air or on ground Used first in the late Vietnam War, then extensively in Desert Storm and Kosovo Cost: approximately $60,000 GBU-10 laser-guided bomb (
Slide 9 - A Problem Both remote-controlled weapons and laser-guided weapons rely on continued visual contact with the target. In cloudy weather, then, the bombs may veer off course, wasting the bomb and potentially causing costly damage to unintended targets. Solution: satellite-guided weapons
Slide 10 - Satellite-Guided Weapons The most effective and most efficient kind of precision weapons. The bomb’s computer uses GPS signals to steer itself towards a target’s coordinates, and inertial navigation (velocity-measuring gyroscopes) if for some reason GPS fails (i.e. GPS jamming) The most common type of satellite-guided weapon: JDAM
Slide 11 - Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) The most popular mechanism for delivering satellite-guided bombs, the JDAM is not an actual bomb but instead a tail kit attached to existing “dumb” bombs. JDAM-equipped bombs have a CEP of 13m, even with a loss of GPS signal – new version accurate to 3m Cost: approximately $18,000
Slide 12 - (
Slide 13 - Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW) Long-range satellite-guided missile designed to hit targets from a range far beyond that of anti-aircraft weaponry (
Slide 14 - Potential Difficulties GPS Jamming – this is largely accounted for by INS systems Improving accuracy – technology limitations Human intelligence errors (ex. Chinese Embassy mistake) Potential terrorist capabilities (delivering biological weapons, hitting high-value targets, etc.) Driving enemies off the conventional battlefield Over-reliance on weapons as the way to win a war
Slide 15 - The D.I.Y. Cruise Missile To prove a point, Bruce Simpson of New Zealand designed his a cruise missile in his garage for under $5,000. Using a $120 GPS development system purchased on eBay, he was able to create a cruise missile capable of carrying a 10-kg bomb over 100 miles with a 100m accuracy. All parts were acquired and put together without raising any suspicion, and the final product was small enough to be launched from a pickup truck. Implications?
Slide 16 - Conclusions Precision-guided weapons, especially those equipped with GPS technology, have greatly improved the military’s strike capabilities and reduced many of the difficulties of war. However, there are still significant improvements that can be made to maximize the efficiency of modern weapons technology.
Slide 17 - Part of a Larger Movement GPS technology is in part so effective because of other advances in military technology, including: Unmanned flying drones Bombs equipped with infrared and laser sensors Automatic target-recognition algorithms (“brilliant” bombs)
Slide 18 - “According to current and former officials, Pentagon and CIA planners have been exploring possible targets, such as the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and the uranium conversion facility at Isfahan. Although a land invasion is not contemplated, military officers are weighing alternatives ranging from a limited airstrike aimed at key nuclear sites, to a more extensive bombing campaign designed to destroy an array of military and political targets.” --”U.S. Is Studying Military Strike Options on Iran”, The Washington Post, April 9, 2005