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BUNKER BUSTERS MAY SAY WHAT THEY'VE SMASHED

At first glance, it would seem so simple: figure out whether or not a bomb has really damaged a target or not. But in real life, such assessments can be extremely tough.That's why, Jane's Defence Weekly reports, the U.S. Air Force "wants to equip its 'bunker buster' munitions with the capability to transmit immediate feedback on their performance during a strike to operational commanders."

Defeating a hardened and deeply buried facility remains one of the most challenging tasks for the service. Real-time data from the bombs as they penetrate soil and the reinforced concrete of an underground structure en route to detonation would contribute to the overall assessment of the strike's effectiveness and help determine if a subsequent attack is necessary, the USAF says.Toward that end, the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) intends to launch a Fuze Integrated Battle Damage Information Demonstration (FIBDID) programe later this year to fit existing penetrator munitions with wireless radio-frequency transmitters that pass data to battlefield sensors, according to service documents and officials.The AFRL expects to test a modified 'bunker buster' bomb against a replica underground target in late 2007.
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