Learn: Identifying BLU-63 Submunitions


The BLU-63 is an American manufactured HE-FRAG (high explosive fragmentation) submunition that is released from a CBU-58 bomb. Each CBU-58 is capable of carrying 650 BLU-63 submunitions. 4 Each BLU-63 is comprised of two halves that are fastened to each other with a crimp ring. When these halves are joined together, it gives the BLU-63 a ball shaped appearance, roughly the size of a baseball. The BLU-63 contains about 0.25 lbs. of explosive material. Detonation causes the scored steel shell to fragment into 260 fragments at 4,900 feet per second. Incendiary effects are produced by adding two 5-gram titanium pellets to the bomblet. 5 The likely original production date is 1976 in the United States. 3


The BLU-63 is often painted an olive tone, but colors can vary between gunmetal, rusted metal, dark green, light green, or the original paint color may be entirely worn off or covered in dirt. Therefore, color is not a stable descriptor to identify the BLU-63. Instead it can be identified by it's unique shape, which most often includes one or two dots on the top or bottom half, 4 twisted fins or ribs that extend across both spheres, and is roughly the size of a baseball. Similar munitions, including the ShOAB-0.5 and other BLU-* munitions have hard eges on the fins, while the twisted fins on the BLU-63 have rounded edges.

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