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Mk. 82 500 lb. Bomb

by Dave Roof


Mk. 82 500 lb. Bombs
fitted to an F/A-18A from VMFA-134 'Smoke' of MAG-46 at MCAS


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The photos on this page might help any modelers who are planning to load Mk.82 500 lb. bombs on their aircraft.

The title photo shows an F/A-18A from VMFA-134 'Smoke' of MAG-46 at MCAS Miramar.

I was attached to VMFA-134 from October 1995 to June 1998. The aircraft were transferred to our squadron from VFC-13 and to this day retain the wraparound brown camouflage scheme. Also note that the aircraft is loaded with 'Live' bombs for a peacetime training mission.

By examining the photos, you will notice that there are no rules for the colors used on any particular bombs and/or their components. The bombs can be a very dark Olive Drab (as seen in the Desert Storm bombs) or a light Field Green (as seen in the Miramar bombs), to Grey.


Mk. 82 500 lb. Bomb


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Photo 1: Here is how the Mk 82 comes from the factory. The fins, boosters, fuzes, etc., are installed by Intermediate Level Ordnancemen. These particular bombs have nose plugs installed and are in the new Grey TPS scheme.
Photo 2: Taken in November 2000 at WTI (Weapons Training Instruction) in Yuma, AZ. This photo shows three Mk 82's with Boosters and MK 15 'Snakeye' fins installed. Contrary to what most believe, the MK 15 fin is still in use by the Marine Corps. The Fuzes are not installed until the bomb is on the aircraft.
Photo 3: Side view of the bomb with Snakeye fin. *Note that these bombs are NOT thermally protected.
Photo 4: Detail shot of the Mk 15 fin. The fin is attached to the bomb by way of 8 set screws around the circumference of the fin.
Photo 5: Mk 82 with nose plug and BSU-86 retarded fin on station 2 of an
F/A-18. The BSU-86 replaced the Mk 15. However, there are still numerous -15's in the inventory and they will continue to be used until stocks are depleted.
Photo 6: Side view of the Mk 82 attached to the pylon on station 3. The pylon is the SUU-63, while the bomb rack is the BRU-32. The White and Red cables near the top center of the bomb is the Mk 122 electrical safety switch. This switch is used on USN/USMC aircraft only and screws into a well located between the two suspension lugs. In layman's terms, the switch provides electrical power to the electric tail fuze. This photo was taken at MCAS Miramar.
Photo 7: This photo shows two Mk 82's loaded on a BRU-33 VER (vertical ejector rack). The square holes in the nose plugs are where we install a 3/8 drive ratchet used to tighten the plugs.
Photo 8: Close up shot of a M904 nose fuze. *Note the arming wire is not
attached directly to the fuze, but instead to a clip that attaches to the fuze.
Photo 9: Side shot of the bombs attached to a VER. The arming wire is attached to the rear suspension lug of the bomb. It passes through a ring (visible directly in front of the forward sway brace) that is attached to the bomb rack. When the bomb is dropped, the wire stays with it. *Note the position of the VER in relation to the pylon.
Photo 10: Three Mk 82's with M904 fuzes and BSU-86 fins.
Photo 11: Head on shot showing the two inboard bombs to good effect. Also note that these are loaded onto a BRU-33A/A CVER. The CVER is wider and the bomb racks are angled outwards, as opposed to the standard VER, which is narrower. Compare this to the VER in photo 7.
Photo 12: A trailer full of Thermally Protected Mk 82's with conical fins and Mk 43 TDD's installed in the nose. This photo was taken in Bahrain during Operation Desert Storm. The Mk 43 is a sensing fuze. It puts out a signal as the bomb is dropped. Once that signal is bounced back by a target, a signal is sent to the tail fuze which detonates the bomb, giving it an air burst capability.
Photo 13: Here is a trailer full of Thermally Protected Mk 82's with BSU-86's installed. This photo was also taken during Desert Storm. Here, you can see the Mk 122 safety switch to good effect.


Text & Images Copyright 2001 by Dave Roof
Page Created 21 April, 2002
Last Updated 19 April, 2004

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