HC Deb 16 May 2003 vol 405 c452W
Mr. Keetch

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the margin of error for non-precision weapons is when used from a height of 150,000 ft. [113245]

Mr. Ingram

Aircraft do not generally fly at 150,000 ft and would not drop bombs from this altitude. I have therefore assumed an altitude of 15,000 ft. when answering this question. When dropped from this altitude, the average accuracy for non-precision weapons is as follows:

  • 540 lb and 1,000 lb free-fall bomb: 200 ft
  • RBL-755 cluster bomb: 230 ft

This will of course depend on the weapon delivery profile and operational circumstances. The accuracy of both precision and non-precision weapons and the need to minimise, as far as possible, collateral damage is considered during the targeting process. We continue to make efforts to improve the accuracy of both precision and non-precision weapons by enhancements to aircraft navigation systems and through our ability to calculate more precise target co-ordinates.