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.
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.