The JP233 was submunition delivery system used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornadoes for attacking enemy runways. The idea of the system was that the Tornado would fly over the target runway, at which point the system would dispense SG-357 cratering bomblets (30 of which were in the JP233) to damage the runway, and HB-876 anti-personnel mines (there were 215 HB-876s in the JP233) to prevent rapid repair of the runway.
Obviously, the intention of the weapon was to prevent, or at least reduce the rate enemy of enemy air sorties, allowing British and Allied airforces to gain air superiority. If conventional war against the communist Warsaw Pact had occurred, the JP233 would undoubtedly have been extremely helpful in this role. However, there has been some debate about whether such missions were worthwhile against less sophisticated enemy a airforces, such as the Iraqi Air Force.
During the Gulf War, British and Saudi Arabian Tornadoes used the JP233, and were indeed successful at disabling many Iraqi runways using the weapon. How significant a contribution this was to the Coalition war effort remains unclear, since Iraqi aircraft mostly fled, were destroyed on the ground, or were placed in storage - the Iraqis attempted very few actual combat missions.
As the Tornado aircraft employing the weapon, were required to fly at low altitude along the runway, and were brightly illuminated by the munitions if using them at night, and would under go violent trim changes when JP233 pod was jettisoned, continued use of the weapon was felt to expose the aircrew to unnecessary risk. It should be noted that these risks were not as nearly high as many people (incorrectly) believe: over 100 JP233s were used, but only one JP233 mission was shot down, and this was several minutes after the JP233 attack had been completed.
After the Gulf War, the JP233 was withdrawn from service as it was felt that stand-off munitions could achieve the same goals with much lower risk to aircrew. Additionally, the HB-876 mines contained within the JP233 could no longer be used once Britain signed the Ottawa Treaty which bans the use of anti-personnel mines.
Please share your comments on this page:
Note: This site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by any military or government organization.
Copyright © 2007-2019, Answers 2000 Limited
CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.
CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE,COMES FROM AMAZON EU S.à r.l. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.
Disclosure: Our company's websites' content (including this website's content) includes advertisements for our own company's websites, products, and services, and for other organization's websites, products, and services. In the case of links to other organization's websites, our company may receive a payment, (1) if you purchase products or services, or (2) if you sign-up for third party offers, after following links from this website. Unless specifically otherwise stated, information about other organization's products and services, is based on information provided by that organization, the product/service vendor, and/or publicly available information - and should not be taken to mean that we have used the product/service in question. Additionally, our company's websites contain some adverts which we are paid to display, but whose content is not selected by us, such as Google AdSense ads. For more detailed information, please see Advertising/Endorsements Disclosures
Click privacy for information about our company's privacy, data collection and data retention policies, and your rights.
In Association With Amazon.com
Answers 2000 Limited is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
In Association With Amazon.co.uk
Answers 2000 Limited is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.
As an Amazon Associate, our company earns from qualifying purchases. Amazon, the Amazon logo, Endless, and the Endless logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.
All trademarks are property of their respective owners.
All third party content and adverts are copyright of their respective owners.