17 Jul, 2011, THE ECONOMIC TIMES
NEW DELHI: To smoke out enemy troops fortified inside concrete shelters, the Indian Air Force is looking to procure bunker-buster laser-guided bombs (LGBs) from global vendors.
The IAF plans to induct more than 100 bunker-buster LGBs that will be equipped on its fighter aircraft fleet to destroy strongly fortified enemy targets, sources told PTI here.
They said the IAF had issued a global Request for Proposal (RFP) for the purpose earlier this year, and defence majors including American Lockheed Martin and Raytheon along with an Israeli missile manufacturer have submitted their bids for the tender.
"We recently submitted bid in response to the RFP for LGBs," Lockheed Martin India head Roger Rose said, confirming the participation of his company in the race.
The two American companies are offering their respective versions of the Paveway LGBs manufactured by them separately.
With their capability to pierce hard surfaces, the bombs can also be used to destroy enemy's concrete runways and fortified locations.
LGBs are guided projectiles that use lasers to strike a designated target with greater accuracy than a gravity bomb and were used with high accuracy by the IAF against Pakistani Army posts during the Kargil war in 1999.
Around the same time, the US had supplied some Paveway bombs to India which could be launched from the Jaguar and Mirage 200 jets for accurately striking enemy targets.