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Posted 1/29/2007 Printable Fact Sheet
Texas Instruments BOLT-117 Laser Guided Bomb
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Texas Instruments BOLT-117 Laser Guided Bomb

The BOLT-117 (BOmb, Laser Terminal-117) was the world's first laser-guided bomb. It consisted of a standard M117 750-pound general-purpose iron bomb with a KMU-342 laser seeker head and control fins attached. This weapon could track laser energy directed at a target and guide to strike that energy, which allowed for much more precise targeting than dropping the unguided bomb alone. The M117 general-purpose bomb had first been used during the Korean War and was later employed extensively in Vietnam.

Development of the BOLT-117 began in 1967 and it was successfully deployed in 1968. Its service was brief, however, due to the introduction of the more accurate and larger GBU-10 laser guided bomb, a 2,000-pound weapon with greater destructive power. The advent of the BOLT-117 had revolutionized ordnance delivery though, proving that laser guidance could turn standard "dumb" bombs into "smart bombs."

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