July 14, 2010:
A French firm successfully tested a new AASM laser guided smart bomb kit, that enabled a 250 kg (550 pound) bomb to hit the target directly from above. Previously, laser and GPS guided bombs have all come in at the target horizontally. By coming in vertically, collateral damage, to nearby structures occupied by civilians, is limited. Late last year, France ordered 3,400 of these new bomb kits from manufacturer Sagem, which use GPS, inertial and laser guidance. Max glide range is 50 kilometers (from higher altitudes). Currently, the new kit only fits 250 kg bombs, but versions for 125, 500 and 1,000 kg bombs are in development.