France Dropping Concrete Bombs In Libya

Forget the United States’ low-collateral damage Small Diameter Bomb, France has begun using concrete filled training bombs to literally crush Gadhafi’s tanks without causing massive explosions that can harm nearby civilians.

Apparently, the 660-pound “training bombs” have not been pressed into combat due to a lack of explosive munitions, as was reported earlier this month.

From AFP:

Military spokesman Thierry Burkhard denied rumors the use of the 300-kilogram (660-pound) training devices was prompted by a shortage of real bombs. He said the first such strike crushed an armored vehicle April 26.

“The aim of this munition … is to use the effect of the impact while limiting the risk of collateral damage,” Burkhard said. “It is a very precise strike. There is no, or very little, shrapnel thrown out.”

Concrete bombs have been around for decades (the ones pictured above are from World War II) and are usually used for training. However, a 600-pound piece of concrete dropped from thousands of feet in the air can be pretty darn effective when it hits a relatively small, soft target.

Keep in mind that the bombs, while concrete, are still guided by modern technology like GPS or lasers onto their targets since a near miss with a concrete bomb won’t get you much.

This wouldn’t be the first time such weapons have been used in modern air warfare. The U.S. used laser-guided concrete bombs against Iraqi targets in the late 1990s for the same reason France says it’s using them.


51 Comments on "France Dropping Concrete Bombs In Libya"

  1. pure momentum = raw destructive force
    and that's my favorite thing!
    (plus it's economical and effective, another two points added)

  2. so really this is an operational use of a kinetic energy bomb? seems like an excellent idea

  3. Even in the future, rocks will still hurt when they're thrown at you.

  4. i suppose that concrete is much more cheaper than solid steel, and remember, those dummy bombs are used in training before being deploy in Libya, and steel bombs for training just isn't going to be cost effective.

  5. There's something very bizarre about putting a GPS / laser guidance system on what amounts to a big rock.

    Sort of 1st century meets 21st century.

  6. Do you want a penetration effect? Isn't the whole point to get a brute force crushing effect?

  7. Could just put steel on the tip if you were concerned about cost but wanted some peneration

  8. Next up: the tank mounted catapult

  9. Libyans need to tank for kinetic damage, imo

  10. Obviously they are not worried about penetration, no point for steel when concrete is crushing a tank. Did anyone read that part?

  11. Force=mass*accelration

    Newton FTW

  12. Sir Isaac Newton is the deadliest son of a bitch in space.

  13. "since well, a near miss with a concrete bomb won’t get you much."

    That's some fine righting there, Lou.

  14. They need to improve the guidance system to separate just before impact and fly home for reuse.

  15. Paper beats Rock? I think not.

  16. @hvhuvh, sorry fake tank will beat rock bomb

  17. America would never do that we have a defense budget to maintain.

  18. Capt. Nosebleed | April 29, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Reply

    Lookup Rail Guns. The US has been continually developing non-explosive warheads for decades. There is a new rail gun that can shoot a solid steel projectile through 2 inches of steel and it will continue on it's path for miles after passing through the steel.

  19. They'" probably built to be a similar size and shape to the "real" bombs – a slimmer shape wouldn't be as realistic for training.

  20. The Sovjets used concrete shells in the 152mm guns of their ISU-152 SPH/tank destoyers against german tanks with big success. Blows away a Panther/Tiger turret or dents the hull into *****-status.

  21. The RAF began dropping 1000 pounders in Iraq, back in 2003. So ours is bigger than yours, Frenchie.

    They were not only used for taking out tanks and guns in sensitive areas, but they were also pretty good at taking out individual houses whilst containing most of the resultant mess and death within that structure.

  22. The RAF began dropping 1000 pounders in Iraq, back in 2003. So ours is bigger than yours, Frenchie.

    They were not only used for taking out tanks and guns in sensitive areas, but they were also pretty good at taking out individual houses whilst containing most of the resultant mess and death within that structure.

  23. ever heard about "sand blasting " this one is concrete blasting , grind then tanks am loving dat!!!

  24. Look up APDS and APFSDS munitions

  25. They'd better be accurate. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

  26. Amazing. Sometimes low-tech is the best way to go.

  27. Is it just me, or is almost hard to believe that a country is actually watching out for civilians when dropping bombs?! Funny stuff… I mean I get it, it's a civil war so they have specific targets to hit, but still, concrete bombs!? I nearly lol'd when I first read the header on reddit and considered the ridiculousness of it being the literal translation, just that… a concrete bomb. Shit blows my mind.

  28. m amazed by concrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeettteeee bomb,

  29. I am a Aeronautical engineer… with a degree in the subject… who does aircraft structures engineering… and it always surprises me how little people understand about this sort of thing.

    This is all about energy concentration over a small area. To be honest though, I would like to see the results of this sort of weapon at some point. I can only imagine it would take some perfect strike to take out all the functions of the tank. Without explosives surely this just leaves a big hole… but no explosion unless its a super lucky hit and the ammo storage is struck.

    I guess with the old soviet tanks with the ammo in a circular manner about the turret this might work… but I do not know. Pictures would be good if someone had some.

  30. Hmmm, kinda like a arti strike but from the air… how is anyone too know if they are being shelled or air striked when they are dropping rocks on the enemy. You could blame anyone when you are dropping weapons that everyone has.

  31. Beware of falling debris.

  32. I believe this is the same thing that modern tanks due any ways with the kinetic sabot rounds they use now it’s a thin metal dart I believe made out of depleted uranium, no explosive besides to launch it out the barrel.

  33. Kineti-Kill, I love you.

  34. My brother was bombed by Japanese concret bombs in the S. Pacific during WW2. He said when the rock hit the coral rock he was trying to dig into, it shattered into much schrapnal. The small islands he was on were all coral. He never did mention how effective the bombs might have been.

  35. Using that tank mounted catapult to throw rocks into the air for anti-aircraft purposes might be economical too…just have multiple projectiles much like the effect of a shotgun for ducks or other birds.

  36. I'd love to see slow motion action of one of these puppies doing its job against an armoured foe.

  37. "since well, a near miss with a concrete bomb won’t get you much."

    if you nearly missed… that means you didn't miss… you hit… so a near miss would be better than a real miss.

  38. Phantom Driver | May 1, 2011 at 11:44 am | Reply

    they only work with a direct hit
    and you all have no idea how hard it is to get a DIRECT hit
    even with smart munitions

  39. cheap and effective, whats not to like?

  40. Inagodda Da Vida | May 1, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Reply

    The US dropped little steel bomblets over german factories during WW2 and ball bearings over N. Vietnam. Had to stop with the ball bearings it was declared inhumane. I guess there wasn’t enough money to be made on ball bearings.

  41. I think there was a picture of one of these concrete bombs in the ruins of the house that NATO forces hit. It was the one that killed Saif Ghadaffi and Ghadaffi's grandchildren. That might point the blame at France for the nation responsible for the strike. The bomb pictured was very long and looked to be bigger then a 500 pounder, probably a 1000 pound version. Looked to be about 10 feet long and very narrow/aerodynamic. Made like that to penetrate and allow it to be carried under the wing or airframe no doubt. Still could be US or France or even Italy or the UK since the tech could be used by anybody with an airplane and bomb guidance technology. Its ironic that this article was published here days before the strike happened.

  42. However, the whole point of a concrete bomb is to have the same size, shape, and flight characteristics as your regular bombs, without the boom, so they offer realistic training.

  43. This would be good for precision targets, if they want to target a small house or something. And the goodpart is that it wil lessen colateral damage.

  44. So, now we have Newton (as in Sir Isaac) bombs, vice neutron bombs?

  45. Force =mass * acceleration isn't directly relevant here.
    momentum = mass * velocity, and 300 kilos of falling concrete at terminal velocity has a lot of it.

  46. Anthony Geldhof | May 9, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply

    "Let he who is without sin throw the first stone." JC

  47. Kinetic energy is da bomb

  48. mmm I liked the BLU-109 better (killed Gaddafi's son)

  49. next they'll be dropping water ballons

  50. starfish prime | July 8, 2012 at 8:35 am | Reply

    Kitchen sinks tumbling from the sky would demonstrate we're not foolin' around any longer

  51. Robert Fritts | July 8, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Reply

    I can hear the execs at Raytheon or LockMart coming up with a Multi billiion dollar sales strategey, to sell the molds for these bombs. When 2 cooks, a coms guy and a services kid from the gym, all on 30 days restriction and extra duty are mixing up 20 bombs a night for free.

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