Paveway is a trademark of Raytheon Company which identifies its variants of Laser Guided Bombs (LGB). Lockheed Martin became a second source supplier of LGBs in 2001. PAVE is an acronym standing for Precision Avionics Vectoring Equipment, and was also used for the names of various laser designator pods used with these weapons, including Pave Penny, Pave Spike, Pave Tack and Pave Knife. The original use of the Paveway name applied to both the guided weapon, and a designator, but this was soon dropped and applied to only the weapon.

It has also been used for military aircraft variants equipped with specialized avionics, such as the AC-130U Pave Spectre and HH-60 Pave Hawk.

The Paveway series of laser-guided bombs was developed by Texas Instruments starting in 1964. The program was conducted on a shoestring budget, but the resultant emphasis on simplicity and economical engineering proved to be a benefit, and a major advantage over other more complex guided weapons. The first test weapon, using a Mk 117 bomb as the warhead, took place in April 1965. Prototype weapons were sent to Vietnam for combat testing starting in 1968.

Paveway kits attach to a variety of warheads, and consist of a semi-active laser (SAL) seeker, a computer control group (CCG) containing guidance and control electronics, thermal battery, and pneumatic control augmentation system (CAS). There are front control canards and rear wings for stability. The weapon guides on reflected laser energy: the seeker detects the reflected light ("sparkle") of the designating laser, and actuates the canards to guide the bomb toward the designated point.

The original Paveway series, retroactively named Paveway I, gave way in the early 1970s to the improved Paveway II, which had a simplified, more reliable seeker and pop-out rear wings to improve the weapon's glide performance. Both Paveway I and Paveway II use a simple 'bang-bang' control system, where the CAS commands large canard deflections to make course corrections, resulting in a noticeable wobble. This had relatively little effect on accuracy, but expends energy quickly, limiting effective range. As a consequence, most users release Paveway I and II weapons in a ballistic trajectory, activating the laser designator only late in the weapon's flight to refine the impact point.

In 1976, the USAF issued a requirement for a new generation, dubbed Paveway III, that finally entered service in 1986. The Paveway III system used a much more sophisticated seeker with a wider field of view and proportional guidance, minimizing the energy loss of course corrections. Paveway III has a considerably longer glide range and greater accuracy than Paveway II, but it is substantially more expensive, limiting its use to high-value targets. Although Paveway III kits were developed for the smaller Mk 82 weapons, limited effectiveness caused the USAF to adopt the kit only for the larger 2,000 lb-class weapons (the Mk 84 and BLU-109. Paveway III guidance kits were also used on the GBU-28/B penetration bomb fielded at the close of the 1991 Gulf War. The Paveway III system was also used during the Indian offensive in the Kargil War of 1999 by the Indian Air Force with the Mirage 2000 as a launch platform. Raytheon, the sole provider of Paveway III variants, is currently delivering both standard and enhanced versions to the US Government and foreign customers.

Existing LGBs in US service can be upgraded to Dual Mode Laser Guided Bombs (DMLGB) by adding GPS receivers which enable all weather employment. Lockheed Martin won the initial contract to provide DMLGBs to the US Navy (USN) in 2005, however subsequent-year money has been "zeroed" in favor of a follow-on Direct Attack Moving Target Capability (DAMTC) program. Raytheon's version, the "Enhanced Paveway II", has been contracted both within the US and abroad.

An advanced Paveway IV series is being developed for export, including Britain's RAF, but it appears that the USAF remains committed instead to the small-diameter bomb program.

The Paveway series of bombs includes:
* GBU-10 Paveway II – Mk 84 2000 lb (909 kg) bomb
* GBU-12 Paveway II – Mk 82 500 lb (227 kg) bomb
* GBU-16 Paveway II – Mk 83 1000 lb (454 kg) bomb
* GBU-22 Paveway III – Mk 82 500 lb (227 kg) bomb. Developed at the same time as GBU-24, with some limited export success, but was not adopted by USA as it was felt to be too small of a warhead for the desired effects at the time.
* GBU-24 Paveway III – Mk 84/BLU-109 2000 lb (909 kg) class bomb
* GBU-27 Paveway III – BLU-109 2000 lb (909 kg) bomb with penetration warhead, specially designed for F-117 because the large fins of GBU-24 do not fit into the bomb bay of F-117.
* GBU-28 Paveway III – During the Gulf War, the deepest and most hardened Iraqi bunkers could not be defeated by the BLU-109/B penetrator warhead, so a much more powerful "bunker buster" GBU-28 was developed. The latest warhead used in the GBU-28/B series is the BLU-122/B, a development of earlier BLU-113 on early GBU-28s.
* Paveway IV – 500 lb (227 kg) bomb

See also

* Laser designator
* JDAM "(a GPS guidance package for a standard iron bomb, built by the Boeing corporation)"

External links

* [ Paveway - Designation Systems]

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