The Netherlands has purchased 200
Enhanced Paveway II dual-guidance GPS/laser-guided bomb kits, for use with 500
pound bombs. Earlier this year, France
bought upgrade kits to turn its own GPS guided Paveway II laser guided smart
bombs, turning them into dual mode (able to use laser or GPS guidance) versions.
While laser guidance is the most accurate (able to hit within a few meters of
the aim point), the laser guidance often fails in rain or mist (which disperses
the laser light beam). Adding GPS guidance (which will land within ten meters
of the aim point) provides a backup, or alternative, for the laser guidance.
France also prefers to mount the Paveway
guidance kits on 500 pound bombs. French warplanes have been using the American
smart bombs in Afghanistan. The first one was dropped on April 1st, 2007. The
Dutch have also had F-16s in Afghanistan, using smart bombs to provide support
for NATO troops.