The U.S. has used this bomb to knock out power grids in Serbia and Iraq. It is currently delivered by F-15 E Strike Eagles.
The BLU-114/B is a special-purpose munition for attacking electrical power infrastructure. Although very little is known about this highly classified weapon, reportedly it functions by dispensing a number of submunitions which in turn disperse large numbers of chemically treated carbon graphite filaments which short-circuit electrical power distribution equipment such as transformers and switching stations. The weapon is sometimes referred to as a “soft bomb” since its effects are largely confined to the targeted electrical power facility, with minimal risk of collateral damage.
This previously undisclosed weapon, carried by the F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter, was used for the first time on 02 May 1999 as part of Operation ALLIED FORCE strikes against Serbia. Following these attacks lights went out over 70 per cent of the country. The munition was subsequently used on the night of 07 May 1999 to counter Serbian efforts to restore damage caused by the initial attack.
Similar in concept to the “Kit-2” Tomahawk sea-launched cruise missile warhead used in the opening days of Operation DESERT STORM, few details of either weapons can be established on an unclassified basis. The missiles, packed with bomblets filled with small spools of carbon-fiber wire, deprived Iraq of 85% of its generating capacity. During the Gulf War Iraq responded to the use of this type of munition by disconnecting electrical power grid circuit breakers. Attacks on Iraqi power facilities shut down their effective operation and eventually collapsed the national power grid. Coalition planners in the theater initially directed that the switching system be targeted, rather than the generator halls. For the first three days, the ATO explicitly contained specific aimpoints for strikes against electrical production facilities. Subsequently the specific aimpoints were only sporadically included. When wing-level planners lacked specific guidance on which aimpoints to hit at electrical power plants, they sometimes chose to target generator halls, which are among the aimpoints listed in standard targeting manuals.
South Korea has announced plans to build graphite bombs for use against North Korea to paralyse its electric grid in the event of a new war breaking out on the Korean Peninsula, subject to funding from the country’s finance ministry. The weapons have been developed by South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development, Yonhap news agency reported, as one element of the kill chain pre-emptive strike program. Contractors were selected in 2020 and the weapons are intended to be delivered by 2024.