The MK84 AIR is a 2,000 pound bomb modified with a BSU-50/B high drag tail assembly. The "ballute" air bag which deploys from the tail provides a high speed, low altitude delivery capability by quickly slowing the bomb and allowing the aircraft to escape the blast pattern. The tail assembly consists of a low-drag canister unit containing a ballute (combination balloon and parachute), and a release lanyard assembly that opens the canister releasing the ballute. The ballute assembly is made from high strength low porosity nylon fabric. When the bomb is released from the aircraft a lanyard unlatches the back cover which opens, releasing part of the nylon bag/retarder. Air turbulence at the rear of the bomb acts on that portion of the retarder, pulling the remainder out of the housing. Ram air inflation is accomplished through four air inlet ports toward the aft end of the ballute. The weapon can be delivered in the low-drag mode (canister remains closed after release) or in the high drag mode. The pilot may select either a high drag or low drag configuration depending on mission requirements.
The MK-80 series was developed in the 1950s in response to the need for bombs producing less aerodynamic drag. All MK-80 series bombs are similar in construction. MK-80 series bombs are cylindrical in shape and are equipped with conical fins or retarders for external high-speed carriage. They are fitted for both nose and tail fuzes to ensure reliability and produce effects of blast, cratering, or fragmentation. During Desert Storm the MK-80 series of bombs were dropped from literally every fixed-wing aircraft that supported the ground offensive. The bombs were used against a wide variety of targets, including artillery, trucks, bunkers, Scuds, surface-to-air missile sites, antiaircraft artillery sites, early warning radars, and supply points.
|Class||2,000 lb. General Purpose Bomb/Fragmentation|
|Explosive||945 lbs. H-6 or Tritonal|
|Fuze||Variety of mechanical or electrical|
MK-84 Conical Fin