Currently, all major states are focused on technological advances such as next generation fighters, targets, aerodynamic components, avionics components, computers, among others. There is no doubt that there is rapid progress in this area, however, innovations in armaments have not grown rapidly.
Because of this situation, researchers from the US Air Force show some concern about the modernization of armaments, since they are not following the rapid evolution of their aircraft, as is the case of the B-2, F-35 and new B-21, according to an article published in The National Interest .
“The bomb body, minus the guidance unit, is relatively unchanged. A 500-lb. bomb body was flown in 1918, and the F-35 is now dropping these. You can’t have an airplane and not have the same generation of munitions associated with it,” Major General Larry Stutzriem, USAF (Ret.) said at the Air Force Association Air, Space & Cyber Conference.
Stutzriem says there is a research exploring the precision of the pump-related technology, aiming to propose more precise technologies and result of variable effects.
In addition, according to the Mitchell Institute study, for decades many bombs operated with “fixed explosive envelopes”, and today, researchers are looking for new methods to elevate not only precision but also the results of varying effects, setting the detonations according to the target.
Another problem that the researchers are trying to improve is the extent of the effect of the bombs, in which case the intention would be to reduce the collateral damage, making the effects of the munitions possible from the cabin selectable, that is, the ammunition could be adjusted in flight, according to with the operational needs and types of missions, quickly and efficiently.
US Air Force bombers have cited the adaptive carbon fiber bomb called BLU 129, which was developed precisely to create a low side effect while being an extremely lethal weapon because of its precision and control of results, allowing its size to be considerably reduced, but with the same power of destruction, says Stutzriem.
Thus, the major problem with the US Air Force is that new aircraft such as the B-21 and F-35 would need new weapons capable of following the technological developments that have been taking place among the major military powers today.