fifty years ago, JUNE 30, 1972 Archives

How TV bombs are guided

Saigon, June 29: Sixteen electronically guided bombs worth $80,000 dropped with pinpoint accuracy on a hydroelectric plant 100 kms north-west of Hanoi this month wrecked three quarters of North Vietnam's power potential. The accuracy of the bombs prevented damage to the large dam very near the power station. The U.S. Air Force at a briefing yesterday disclosed details of its operations with television and laser beam guided bombs which are the main weapon used against bridges, warehouses, railroads, and supply systems in North Vietnam to slow the communist offensive against South Vietnam. The bombs were basically the iron or "dumb" bomb used by the air forces since the second world war, a spokesman said. "It's what's strapped on them that counts," he added. The bombs are either fitted with a television camera or laser beam reading device which is linked through an automatic pilot to movable tain fins. The warhead is then released from under the plane's wing and "flown" to the target. Its electronic pilot corrects the flight to counter wind variations. The more elaborate television guided bomb is equipped with small Japanese made television camera. The co-pilot seated in the back seat of the Phantom monitors the target sight on a television screen in the cockpit. A cross mark on the screen is locked on the target and when the bomb is dropped it will aim for the spot which the co-pilot keeps on his screen, following the bomb to its destination.


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