The Israel Air Force used a new U.S.-supplied smart bomb in strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, local daily The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.
The GPS-guided missile, called GBU-39, was developed in recent years by the United States as a small-diameter bomb for low-cost, high-precision and low collateral damage strikes.
According to the report, Israel received approval from U.S. Congress to buy 1,000 units in September.
Israeli defense officials were quoted as saying on Sunday that the first shipment had arrived earlier this month and was used successfully in penetrating underground Qassam launchers in Gaza during the intensive air strikes of Hamas targets on Saturday.
The missile was also used in Sunday's bombing of tunnels in Rafah, added the report.
The GBU-39 is said to be one of the most accurate bombs in the world. The 113-kg. bomb has the same penetration capabilities as a normal 900-kg. bomb, though it has only 22.7 kg. of explosives.
Its small size -- just 1.75 meters long -- increases the number of bombs an aircraft can carry and the number of targets it can attack in a sortie.
The bunker-buster missile is capable of penetrating at least 90 cm. of steel-reinforced concrete, tests conducted in the United States have proven. It can be used in adverse weather conditions and has a standoff range of more than 110 km. due to pop-out wings.
(Xinhua News Agency December 29, 2008)