Re: Barrel Bombs vs Precision Guided 500lb Bomb
"If by 'Precision Guided 500lb Bomb' you are referring to laser guided, more accurately laser marked target bombs, they are only as accurate as their markers.
The target is identified by the laser carrying marker being identified using a 4-digit number entered by the pilot. This number is conveyed to the bomber pilot who dials it in to the ''Precision Guided 500lb Bomb". The bomb ignores all other 4-digit identifiers.
The alternative can be infra-red markers placed around/near by ground based accomplices OR a laser target marking system. These are often referred to as Ground Laser Target Designator (GLTD) and are used in conjunction with Paveway bombs and Hellfire missiles.
The transmitted marker is from a Nd:YAG laser with a wavelength of 1.064 micrometres (3.93701e-5 inches) and a pulse energy energy of up to 80 Millijoules (0.0010 watt seconds). They are good for -32 degrees C to +45 degrees C operation.
Unaligned nations are using IR receivers that decode the marker signal and transmit the codes, in real time, to alternative IR decoy markers which then become the target for the incoming weapons, thereby rendering the 'Precision Guided 500lb Bomb' less ineffective.
So much for 'precision'."
I can't tell whether I've just read a Wikipedia article or an extract from a Tom Clancy novel.