GLONASS, or "Global Navigation Satellite System", is a space-based satellite navigation system operating as part of a radionavigation-satellite service. It provides an alternative to GPS and is the second navigational system in operation with global coverage and of comparable precision. Manufacturers of GPS navigation devices say that adding GLONASS made more satellites available to them, meaning positions can be fixed more and especially in built-up areas where buildings may obscure the view to some GPS satellites. GLONASS supplementation of GPS systems improves positioning in high latitudes. Development of GLONASS began in the Soviet Union in 1976. Beginning on 12 October 1982, numerous rocket launches added satellites to the system, until the completion of the constellation in 1995. After a decline in capacity during the late 1990s, in 2001, under Vladimir Putin's presidency, the restoration of the system was made a top government priority and funding increased substantially. GLONASS is the most expensive program of the Russian Federal Space Agency, consuming a third of its budget in 2010.
By 2010 GLONASS had achieved 100% coverage of Russia's territory and in October 2011 the full orbital constellation of 24 satellites was restored, enabling full global coverage. The GLONASS satellites' designs have undergone several upgrades, with the latest version, GLONASS-K2, scheduled to enter service in 2019. An announcement predicts the deployment of a group of communications and navigational satellites by 2040; the task includes the delivery to the Moon of a series of spacecraft for orbital research and the establishment of a lunar communications and positioning system. GLONASS is a global satellite navigation system, providing real time position and velocity determination for military and civilian users; the satellites are located in middle circular orbit at 19,100 kilometres altitude with a 64.8 degree inclination and a period of 11 hours and 15 minutes. GLONASS's orbit makes it suited for usage in high latitudes, where getting a GPS signal can be problematic; the constellation operates with eight evenly spaced satellites on each.
A operational constellation with global coverage consists of 24 satellites, while 18 satellites are necessary for covering the territory of Russia. To get a position fix the receiver must be in the range of at least four satellites. GLONASS satellites transmit two types of signal: open standard-precision signal L1OF/L2OF, obfuscated high-precision signal L1SF/L2SF; the signals use similar DSSS binary phase-shift keying modulation as in GPS signals. All GLONASS satellites transmit the same code as their standard-precision signal; the center frequency is 1602 MHz + n × 0.5625 MHz, where n is a satellite's frequency channel number. Signals are transmitted in a 38° cone, using right-hand circular polarization, at an EIRP between 25 and 27 dBW. Note that the 24-satellite constellation is accommodated with only 15 channels by using identical frequency channels to support antipodal satellite pairs, as these satellites are never both in view of an earth-based user at the same time; the L2 band signals use the same FDMA as the L1 band signals, but transmit straddling 1246 MHz with the center frequency 1246 MHz + n×0.4375 MHz, where n spans the same range as for L1.
In the original GLONASS design, only obfuscated high-precision signal was broadcast in the L2 band, but starting with GLONASS-M, an additional civil reference signal L2OF is broadcast with an identical standard-precision code to the L1OF signal. The open standard-precision signal is generated with modulo-2 addition of 511 kbit/s pseudo-random ranging code, 50 bit/s navigation message, an auxiliary 100 Hz meander sequence, all generated using a single time/frequency oscillator; the pseudo-random code is generated with a 9-stage shift register operating with a period of 1 ms. The navigational message is modulated at 50 bits per second; the superframe of the open signal is 7500 bits long and consists of 5 frames of 30 seconds, taking 150 seconds to transmit the continuous message. Each frame is 1500 bits long and consists of 15 strings of 100 bits, with 85 bits for data and check-sum bits, 15 bits for time mark. Strings 1-4 provide immediate data for the transmitting satellite, are repeated every frame.
Strings 5-15 provide non-immediate data for each satellite in the constellation, with frames I-IV each describing five satellites, frame V describing remaining four satellites. The ephemerides are updated every 30 minutes using data from the Ground Control segment; the almanac is updated daily. The more accurate high-precision signal is available for authorized users, such as the Russian military, yet unlike the US P code, modulated by an encrypting W code, the GLONASS restricted-use codes are broadcast in the clear using only security through obscurity; the details of the high-precision signal have not been disclosed. The modulation
Soviet Air Forces
The Soviet Air Forces was the official designation of one of the air forces of the Soviet Union. The other was the Soviet Air Defence Forces; the Air Forces were formed from components of the Imperial Russian Air Service in 1917, faced their greatest test during World War II. The groups were involved in the Korean War, dissolved along with the Soviet Union itself in 1991–92. Former Soviet Air Forces' assets were subsequently divided into several air forces of former Soviet republics, including the new Russian Air Force. "March of the Pilots" was its song. The All-Russia Collegium for Direction of the Air Forces of the Old Army was formed on 20 December 1917; this was a Bolshevik aerial headquarters led by Konstantin Akashev. Along with a general postwar military reorganisation, the collegium was reconstituted as the "Workers' and Peasants' Red Air Fleet", established on 24 May 1918 and given the top-level departmental status of "Main Directorate", it became the Directorate of the USSR Air Forces on 28 March 1924, the Directorate of the Workers-Peasants Red Army Air Forces on 1 January 1925.
Its influence on aircraft design became greater. From its earliest days, the force mimicked ground forces' organization in the 1930s, by which time it was made up of air armies, aviation corps, aviation divisions, aviation regiments. After the creation of the Soviet state many efforts were made in order to modernize and expand aircraft production, led by its charismatic and energetic commander, General Yakov Alksnis, an eventual victim of Joseph Stalin's Great Purge. Domestic aircraft production increased in the early 1930s and towards the end of the decade, the Soviet Air Force was able to introduce Polikarpov I-15 and I-16 fighters and Tupolev SB and SB-bis and DB-3 bombers. One of the first major tests for the VVS came in 1936 with the Spanish Civil War, in which the latest Soviet and German aircraft designs were employed against each other in fierce air-to-air combat. At first, the I-16 proved superior to any Luftwaffe fighters, managed to achieve local air superiority wherever they were employed.
However, the Soviets refused to supply the plane in adequate numbers, their aerial victories were soon squandered because of their limited use. Bf 109s delivered to Franco's Spanish Nationalist air forces secured air superiority for the Nationalists, one they would never relinquish; the defeats in Spain coincided with the arrival of Stalin's Great Purge of the ranks of the officer corps and senior military leadership, which affected the combat capabilities of the expanding Soviet Air Forces. Newly promoted officers lacked flying and command experience, while older commanders, witnessing the fate of General Alksnis and others, lacked initiative referring minor decisions to Moscow for approval, insisting that their pilots comply with standardized and predictable procedures for both aerial attack and defence. On 19 November 1939, VVS headquarters was again titled the Main Directorate of the Red Army Air Forces under the WPRA HQ. Between 1933 and 1938, the Soviet government planned and funded missions to break numerous world aviation records.
Not only did aviation records and achievements become demonstrations of the USSR's technological progress, they served as legitimization of the socialist system. With each new success, Soviet press trumpeted victories for socialism, popularizing the mythology of aviation culture with the masses. Furthermore, Soviet media idolized record-breaking pilots, exalting them not only as role models for Soviet society, but as symbols of progress towards the socialist-utopian future; the early 1930s saw a shift in ideological focus away from collectivist propaganda and towards "positive heroism." Instead of glorifying socialist collectivism as a means of societal advancement, the Soviet Communist Party began uplifting individuals who committed heroic actions that advanced the cause of socialism. In the case of aviation, the government began glorifying people who utilized aviation technology instead of glorifying the technology itself. Pilots such as Valery Chkalov, Georgy Baydukov, Alexander Belyakov, Mikhail Gromov—as well as many others—were raised to the status of heroes for their piloting skills and achievements.
In May 1937, Stalin charged pilots Chkalov and Belyakov with the mission to navigate the first transpolar flight in history. On 20 June 1937, the aviators landed their ANT-25 in Washington. A month Stalin ordered the departure of a second crew to push the boundaries of modern aviation technology further. In July 1937 Mikhail Gromov, along with his crew Sergei Danilin and Andrei Yumashev, completed the same journey over the North Pole and continuing on to Southern California, creating a new record for the longest nonstop flight; the public reaction to the transpolar flights was euphoric. The media called the pilots "Bolshevik knights of culture and progress." Soviet citizens celebrated Aviation Day on 18 August with as much zeal as they celebrated the October Revolution anniversary. Literature including poems, short stories, novels emerged celebrating the feats of the aviator-celebrities. Feature films like Victory, Tales of Heroic Aviators, Valery Chkalov reinforced the "positive hero" imagery, celebrating the aviators' individuality within the context of a socialist government.
Soviet propaganda, newspaper articles, other forms of media sought to connect Soviet citizens to relevant themes from daily life. For aviation, Stalin's propagandists drew on Russian folklore. Examples i
Commonwealth of Independent States
The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional intergovernmental organization of 10 post-Soviet republics in Eurasia formed following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It has an area of 20,368,759 km² and has an estimated population of 239,796,010; the CIS encourages cooperation in economical and military affairs and has certain powers to coordinate trade, finance and security. It has promoted cooperation on cross-border crime prevention; the CIS has its origins in the Soviet Union, which replaced the old Russian Empire in 1917 when it was established by the 1922 Treaty and Declaration of the Creation of the USSR by the Russian SFSR, Byelorussian SSR and Ukrainian SSR. When the USSR began to fall in 1991, the founding republics signed the Belavezha Accords on 8 December 1991, declaring the Soviet Union would cease to exist and proclaimed the CIS in its place. A few days the Alma-Ata Protocol was signed, which declared that Soviet Union was dissolved and that the Russian Federation was to be its successor state.
The Baltic states, which regard their membership in the Soviet Union as an illegal occupation, chose not to participate. Georgia withdrew its membership in 2008. Ukraine, which participated as an associate member, ended its participation in CIS statutory bodies on 19 May 2018. Eight of the nine CIS member states participate in the CIS Free Trade Area. Three organizations are under the overview of the CIS, namely the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Eurasian Economic Union. While the first and the second are military and economic alliances, the third aims to reach a supranational union of Russia and Belarus with a common government, currency and so on. In March 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev, the president of the Soviet Union, proposed a federation by holding a referendum to preserve the Union as the Union of Sovereign States; the new treaty signing never happened as the Communist Party hardliners staged an attempted coup in August that year. Following the events of August's failed coup, the republics had declared their independence fearing another coup.
A week after the Ukrainian independence referendum was held, which kept the chances of the Soviet Union staying together low, the Commonwealth of Independent States was founded in its place on 8 December 1991 by the Byelorussian SSR, the Russian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR, when the leaders of the three republics met at the Belovezhskaya Pushcha Natural Reserve, about 50 km north of Brest in Belarus, signed the "Agreement Establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States", known as the Creation Agreement. The CIS announced that the new organization would be open to all republics of the former Soviet Union, to other nations sharing the same goals; the CIS charter stated that all the members were sovereign and independent nations and thereby abolished the Soviet Union. On 21 December 1991, the leaders of eight additional former Soviet Republics signed the Alma-Ata Protocol which can either be interpreted as expanding the CIS to these states or the proper foundation or refoundation date of the CIS, thus bringing the number of participating countries to 11.
Georgia joined two years in December 1993. At this point, 12 of the 15 former Soviet Republics participated in the CIS; the three Baltic states did not, reflecting their governments' and people's view that the post-1940 Soviet occupation of their territory was illegitimate. The CIS and Soviet Union legally co-existed with each other until 26 December 1991, when Soviet President Gorbachev stepped down dissolving the Soviet Union; this was followed by Ivan Korotchenya becoming Executive Secretary of the CIS on the same day. After the end of the dissolution process of the Soviet Union and the Central Asian republics were weakened economically and faced declines in GDP. Post-Soviet states underwent economic privatisation; the process of Eurasian integration began after the break-up of the Soviet Union to salvage economic ties with Post-Soviet republics. On 22 January 1993, the Charter of the CIS were signed, setting up the different institutions of the CIS, their functions, the rules and statutes of the CIS.
The Charter defined that all countries having ratified the Agreement on the Establishment of the CIS and its relevant Protocol would be considered to be founding states of the CIS, as well as that only countries ratifying the Charter would be considered to be member states of the CIS. Other states can participate as associate members or observers, if accepted as such by a decision of the Council of Heads of State to the CIS. All the founding states, apart from Ukraine and Turkmenistan, ratified the Charter of the CIS and became member states of it. Ukraine and Turkmenistan kept participating in the CIS, without being member states of it. Ukraine became an associate member of the CIS Economic Union in April 1994, Turkmenistan became an associate member of the CIS in August 2005. Georgia left the CIS altogether in 2009 and Ukraine stopped participating in 2018. During a speech at Moscow State University in 1994, the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, suggested the idea of creating a "common defense" space within the CIS Nazarbayev idea was seen as a way to bolster trade, boost investments in the region, serve as a counterweight to t
Laser guidance directs a robotics system to a target position by means of a laser beam. The laser guidance of a robot is accomplished by projecting a laser light, image processing and communication to improve the accuracy of guidance; the key idea is to show goal positions to the robot by laser light projection instead of communicating them numerically. This intuitive interface simplifies directing the robot while the visual feedback improves the positioning accuracy and allows for implicit localization; the guidance system may serve as a mediator for cooperative multiple robots. Examples of proof-of-concept experiments of directing a robot by a laser pointer are shown on video. Laser guidance spans areas of robotics, computer vision, user interface, video games and smart home technologies. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. may have been using this technology in PowerBot robotic vacuum cleaners equipped with Point Cleaning™ function since 2014. Samsung has shown its strong interest in bringing this product to the U.
S. market by registering a trademark "Point Cleaning" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on March 5, 2015 and applying for a patent. According to Samsung.com, PowerBot VR9000 with Point Cleaning™ can be purchased online in the USA since 2015. PowerBot robotic vacuums by Samsung have been sold on Amazon.com since 2014. Google Inc. applied for a patent with USPTO on using visual light or laser beam between devices to represent connections and interactions between them. However, no patent was granted to Google on this application. Laser guidance is used by military to guide a missile or other projectile or vehicle to a target by means of a laser beam, e.g. beam riding guidance or semi-active radar homing. This technique is sometimes called SALH, for Semi-Active Laser Homing. With this technique, a laser is kept pointed at the target and the laser radiation bounces off the target and is scattered in all directions; the missile, etc. is launched or dropped somewhere near the target.
When it is close enough for some of the reflected laser energy from the target to reach it, a laser seeker detects which direction this energy is coming from and adjusts the projectile trajectory towards the source. While the projectile is in the general area and the laser is kept aimed at the target, the projectile should be guided to the target. However, SALH is not useful against targets that do not reflect much laser energy, including those coated in special paint which absorbs laser energy; this is to be used by advanced military vehicles in order to make it harder to use laser designators against them and harder to hit them with laser-guided munitions. An obvious circumvention would be to aim the laser close to the target. Countermeasures to laser guidance are Laser detection systems, Smoke screen, anti-laser active protection systems. Guidance system Laser rangefinder List of laser articles List of laser applications
Circular error probable
In the military science of ballistics, circular error probable is a measure of a weapon system's precision. It is defined as the radius of a circle, centered on the mean, whose boundary is expected to include the landing points of 50% of the rounds; that is, if a given bomb design has a CEP of 100 m, when 100 are targeted at the same point, 50 will fall within a 100 m circle around their average impact point. There are associated concepts, such as the DRMS, the square root of the average squared distance error, R95, the radius of the circle where 95% of the values would fall in; the concept of CEP plays a role when measuring the accuracy of a position obtained by a navigation system, such as GPS or older systems such as LORAN and Loran-C. The original concept of CEP was based on a circular bivariate normal distribution with CEP as a parameter of the CBN just as μ and σ are parameters of the normal distribution. Munitions with this distribution behavior tend to cluster around the mean impact point, with most reasonably close, progressively fewer and fewer further away, few at long distance.
That is, if CEP is n metres, 50% of rounds land within n metres of the mean impact, 43.7% between n and 2n, 6.1% between 2n and 3n metres, the proportion of rounds that land farther than three times the CEP from the mean is only 0.2%. CEP is not a good measure of accuracy. Precision-guided munitions have more "close misses" and so are not distributed. Munitions may have larger standard deviation of range errors than the standard deviation of azimuth errors, resulting in an elliptical confidence region. Munition samples may not be on target, that is, the mean vector will not be; this is referred to as bias. To incorporate accuracy into the CEP concept in these conditions, CEP can be defined as the square root of the mean square error; the MSE will be the sum of the variance of the range error plus the variance of the azimuth error plus the covariance of the range error with the azimuth error plus the square of the bias. Thus the MSE results from pooling all these sources of error, geometrically corresponding to radius of a circle within which 50% of rounds will land.
Several methods have been introduced to estimate CEP from shot data. Included in these methods are the plug-in approach of Blischke and Halpin, the Bayesian approach of Spall and Maryak, the maximum likelihood approach of Winkler and Bickert; the Spall and Maryak approach applies when the shot data represent a mixture of different projectile characteristics. While 50% is a common definition for CEP, the circle dimension can be defined for percentages. Percentiles can be determined by recognizing that the horizontal position error is defined by a 2D vector which components are two uncorrelated orthogonal Gaussian random variables each having a standard deviation σ; the distance error is the magnitude of that vector. In turn, the properties of the Rayleigh distribution are, that its percentile at level F ∈ is given by the following formula: Q = σ − 2 ln or, expressed in terms of the DRMS: Q = Σ − 2 ln 2 The relation between Q and F are given by the following table, where the F values for DRMS and 2DRMS are specific to the Rayleigh distribution and are found numerically, while the CEP and R95 values are definitions: We can derive a conversion table to convert values expressed for one percentile level, to another.
Said conversion table, giving the coefficients α to convert X into Y = α. X, is given by: Example: a GPS receiver having a 1.25 m DRMS error, will have a 1.25 × 1.73 = 2.16 m R95 radius. Warning: sensor datasheets or other publications state "RMS" values which in general, but not always, stand for "DRMS" values. Be wary of habits coming from properties of a 1D normal distribution, such as the 68-95-99.7 rule, in essence trying to say that "R95 = 2DRMS". As shown above, these properties do not translate to the distance errors. Mind that these values are obtained for a theoretical distribution.
A laser-guided bomb is a guided bomb that uses semi-active laser guidance to strike a designated target with greater accuracy than an unguided bomb. First developed by the United States during the Vietnam War, laser-guided bombs proved their value in precision strikes of difficult point targets; these weapons use on-board electronics to track targets that are designated by laser in the infrared spectrum, adjust their glide path to strike the target. Since the weapon is tracking a light signature, not the object itself, the target must be illuminated from a separate source, either by ground forces, by a pod on the attacking aircraft, or by a separate support aircraft. Data from Vietnam showed that laser-guided bombs achieved direct hits nearly 50% of the time, versus just 5.5% for unguided bombs. Because of this higher precision, laser-guided munitions can carry less explosive and cause less collateral damage than unguided munitions. Today, laser-guided bombs are one of the most common and widespread guided bombs, used by a large number of the world's air forces.
Laser-guided weapons were first developed in the United Kingdom and United States in the early 1960s. The United States Air Force issued the first development contracts in 1964, leading to the development of the Paveway series, used operationally in Vietnam starting in 1968. Although there were a variety of technical and operational problems, the results were positive. LGBs proved to offer a much higher degree of accuracy than unguided weapons, but without the expense and limitations of guided air-to-ground missiles like the AGM-12 Bullpup; the LGB proved effective against difficult fixed targets like bridges, which had required huge loads of "dumb" ordnance to destroy. It was determined that 48% of Paveways dropped during 1972–73 around Hanoi and Haiphong achieved direct hits, compared with only 5.5% of unguided bombs dropped on the same area a few years earlier. The average Paveway landed as opposed to 447 feet for gravity bombs; the leap in accuracy brought about by laser guidance made it possible to take out defended, point objectives that had eluded earlier air raids.
The most dramatic example was the Thanh Hoa Bridge, 70 miles south of Hanoi, a critical crossing point over the Red River. Starting in 1965, U. S. pilots had flown 871 sorties against it, losing 11 planes without managing to put it out of commission. In 1972 the “Dragon’s Jaw” bridge was attacked with Paveway bombs, 14 jets managed to do what the previous 871 had not: drop the span, cut a critical North Vietnamese supply artery. In the wake of this success, other nations the Soviet Union and Great Britain, began developing similar weapons in the late 1960s and early 1970s, while US weapons were refined based on combat experience. In October 2010, India developed its first Sudarshan laser-guided bomb with the help of IRDE, a lab of DRDO; the United States Air Force and other air forces are now seeking to upgrade their LGBs with GPS guidance as a back-up. These weapons, such as the USAF Enhanced Guided Bomb Unit, use laser designation for precision attacks, but contain an inertial navigation system with GPS receiver for back-up, so that if the target illumination is lost or broken, the weapon will continue to home in on the GPS coordinates of the original target.
Sudarshan laser-guided bomb Bombe Guidée Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition KAB-500L Laser guidance List of laser articles Missile guidance Citations Bibliography Laser-guided bombs page – FAS
"Smart Weapon" redirects here. For the weapon systems customized to a single person, see personalized gun. A precision-guided munition is a guided munition intended to hit a specific target, to minimize collateral damage and increase lethality against intended targets; because the damage effects of explosive weapons decrease with distance due to an inverse cube law modest improvements in accuracy enable a target to be attacked with fewer or smaller bombs. Thus if some guided bombs miss, fewer air crews are put at risk and the harm to civilians and the amount of collateral damage may be reduced; the advent of precision-guided munitions resulted in the renaming of older bombs "unguided bombs", "dumb bombs", or "iron bombs". Recognizing the difficulty of hitting moving ships during the Spanish Civil War, the Germans were first to develop steerable munitions, using radio control or wire guidance; the U. S. tested TV-guided, semi-active radar-guided, infrared-guided weapons. The CBU-107 Passive Attack Weapon is an air-dropped guided bomb containing metal penetrator rods of various sizes.
It was designed to attack targets where an explosive effect may be undesirable, such as fuel storage tanks or chemical weapon stockpiles in civilian areas. The Germans were first to introduce PGMs in combat, with KG 100 deploying the 1,400-kg MCLOS-guidance Fritz X armored gravity ordnance, guided by the Kehl-Straßburg radio guidance system, to attack the Italian battleship Roma in 1943, the Kehl-Straßburg MCLOS-guided Henschel Hs 293 rocket-boosted glide missile; the closest Allied equivalents, both non-boosted gravity-ordnance designs, were the 1,000-lb VB-1 AZON, used in both Europe and the CBI theater, the US Navy's Bat used in the Pacific Theater of World War II — the Navy's Bat was more advanced than either German PGM ordnance design or the USAAF's VB-1 AZON, in that it had its own on board, autonomous radar seeker system to direct it to a target. In addition, the U. S. tested the rocket-propelled Gargoyle. Japanese PGMs—with the exception of the anti-ship air-launched, rocket-powered, human-piloted Ohka suicide flying bomb—did not see combat in World War II.
Prior to the war, the British experimented with radio-controlled remotely guided planes laden with explosive, such as Larynx. The United States Army Air Forces used similar techniques with Operation Aphrodite, but had few successes; the U. S. programs restarted in the Korean War. In the 1960s, the electro-optical bomb was reintroduced, they were equipped with television cameras and flare sights, by which the bomb would be steered until the flare superimposed the target. The camera bombs transmitted a "bomb's eye view" of the target back to a controlling aircraft. An operator in this aircraft transmitted control signals to steerable fins fitted to the bomb; such weapons were used by the USAF in the last few years of the Vietnam War because the political climate was intolerant of civilian casualties, because it was possible to strike difficult targets with a single mission. Although not as popular as the newer JDAM and JSOW weapons, or the older laser-guided bomb systems, weapons like the AGM-62 Walleye TV guided bomb are still being used, in conjunction with the AAW-144 Data Link Pod, on US Navy F/A-18 Hornets.
In World War II, the U. S. National Defense Research Committee developed the VB-6 Felix, which used infrared to home on ships. While it entered production in 1945, it was never employed operationally. Precision guidance has been applied to weapons other than conventional bomb warheads; the Raytheon Maverick heavy anti-tank missile has among its various marks guidance systems such as electro-optical, imaging infra-red, laser homing. The first two, by guiding themselves based on the visual or IR scene of the target, are fire-and-forget in that the pilot can release the weapon and it will guide itself to the target without further input, which allows the delivery aircraft to manoeuvre to escape return fire; the Pakistani NESCOM H-2 MUPSOW and H-4 MUPSOW is an electro-optical is a drop and forget precision-guided glide bomb. The Israeli Elbit Opher is an I. R imaging "drop and forget" guided bomb, reported to be cheaper than laser-homing bombs and can be used by any aircraft, not requiring specialized wiring for a laser designator or for another aircraft to illuminate the target.
During NATO's air campaign in 1999 in Kosovo the new Italian AF AMX employed the Opher. In 1962, the US Army began research into laser guidance systems and by 1967 the USAF had conducted a competitive evaluation leading to full development of the world's first laser-guided bomb, the BOLT-117, in 1968. All such bombs work in much the same way, relying on the target being illuminated, or "painted," by a laser target designator on the ground or on an aircraft, they have the significant disadvantage of not being usable in poor weather where the target illumination cannot be seen, or where a target designator cannot get near the target. The laser designator sends its beam in a coded se