LeiTing-2 Laser Guided Bomb
The LeiTing-2 (LT-2, LeiTing = “Thunder”), also known as GB1 in its export name, is the first Chinese domestically built laser guided bomb (LGB) that has entered operational service with the PLA. First revealed to the public in October 2006, the LT-2 bears a great deal of similarity to the Russian KAB-500L in appearance, suggesting that it may be a licensed or reverse-engineered copy of the Russian design. The 500kg bomb can be carried by a range of aircraft including JH-7, Q-5, FC-1, J-8B, and J-10. The weapon entered the PLA service in 2003/04.
China has been developing the LGB technology since the late 1980s, but with no known success before the introduction of the LT-2. Initially the Chinese LGB development used the U.S. design as a prototype. In the early 1990s China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO) revealed a LGB similar to the U.S. Paveway-II in appearance. The bomb features a laser guidance kit at the front end of the weapon; four front guidance fins (canards) which react to signals from the laser guidance kit and steer the weapon to the target, and four larger stabilising fins at rear.
Development of the LGB accelerated after 2000 with Russian assistance. A full scale mockup of the Xi’an Aircraft Industry Corporation JH-7A fighter-bomber revealed in early 2002 featured an unknown model LGB. The fighter-bomber could guide the weapon using its own onboard laser targeting pod (self-designation). China has also developed a range of laser targeting pods to be carried by combat aircraft for weapon guidance. An early design known as “Blue Sky” introduced in the late 1990s appeared to be similar to the U.S. LANTIRN navigation and targeting pod.
The LT-2 uses a semi-active laser guidance system, which requires a laser designator to “illuminate” the target for the weapon. The LT-2 could be guided by a laser targeting pod either carried by the same aircraft or onboard another aircraft. Alternatively it could also be guided by a land-based laser designator operated by the ground crew. The operational range is 15km for the airborne laser targeting pod and 7km for the land-based laser designator. The accuracy is estimated to be around 6.5m CEP.
Launch weight: 564kg
Accuracy: 6.5m CEP
Last update: 5 November 2006