Home Forum Shop Alumni
Weapons
Weapon - Bombs - Raptor 1 Glide Bomb (H-2)
 
 

Weapon Stats:

Range: 60+ km, 37+ miles
Length: 3.65 m, 11.98 ft
Width: 3.7 m, 12.1 ft
Diameter: 38 cm, 14.9 ft
Weight: 980 kg, 2,160 lb
Explosives: HE
Aircraft:
Cheetah D

Raptor 1 Glide Bomb (H-2)

Status: Out of service
Category: Bombs
 
Description:

Kentron has been involved in the development of guided weapons and missiles since the 1970s. The Raptor glide bomb was the first of these to go into service, with the H1 effectively being a technology testbed.

It was used operationally in the final phase of South African involvement in Angola. Company officials are coy, but reports say the Raptor was used to successfully interdict the lone bridge crossing the Cuito Cuanavale River near the town with the same name. It has not been confirmed that this weapon was previously called H-2.

The Raptor is a modular system consisting of the glide bomb, the communications pod, pylons and control equipment. The bomb can glide to targets at ranges in excess of 60 kilometres, but can be controlled at ranges of up to 250km, when the communications pod is fitted to a second aircraft. The weapon was integrated on the Buccaneer and the Mirage F1AZ, in which pilot used a small joystick control to steer the H2 to its target.

In later versions, navigation can be autonomous, by waypoint or by using GPS-assisted inertial navigation. The weapon is usually fitted with a passive TV seeker. It can be upgraded to include an imaging infra red or radar seeker. The weapon is accurate to within 3m CEP.  In SAAF service it is either fitted with a fragmentation or penetration warhead. 

The weapon was first used operationaly against the bridge at Cuito Canavale during Operations Modular/Hooper. Buccaneer 414 dropped the first H2 "Smart"-Bomb to be used operationally by the SAAF during an attack on the Cuito bridge in Southern Angola on 12 December 1987. Unfortunately the H2 failed to destroy its target but a second attack on 3 January 1988 proved more successful.

At approximately 05h45Z on 3 January 1988, a formation of Buccaneers departed from Air Force Base Grootfontein armed with the glide ‘smart-bomb' commonly referred to as "H-2 and HANTO", the first attempt of the day to destroy the Cuito Cuanavale Bridge was aborted.

The second attempt saw the aircraft take-off at 09h40Z and the FAPA (Angolan Air Force) launched a flight of MiG-23's to intercept (the intercept aircraft never reached the Buccaneer formation ) and Buccaneer  successfully launched ‘H2' and destroyed the Bridge at 10h31Z.

24 Squadron operated two Impala Mk Is as weapons systems trainers for the system used by the Buccaneers. The two Impalas had modified rear cockpits, with the joystick remove. The aircraft carried electronics pods, one each side, on the hard points.


Images:

Buccaneer with the Raptor 1 on the inner pylons, the H2-Comms Pod on the starboard outer pylon and a ECM pod on the port outer pylon.