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Hunting JP233 Anti-Runway Weapon

DAYTON, Ohio - The JP233 on display underneath the Panavia Tornado GR1 in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - The JP233 on display underneath the Panavia Tornado GR1 in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The JP233 was conceived in the late 1970s by Hunting Engineering Limited in the United Kingdom to prevent an enemy from using an airfield. Used at low altitude by Panavia Tornado GR1 aircraft, the JP233 carried 30 57-pound runway-cratering submunitions in the rear section and 215 5.5-pound anti-personnel mines in the front. The submunitions prevented an airfield from being used by aircraft, and the antipersonnel mines prevented repair crews from fixing the damage. 

At the start of OPERATION DESERT STORM (called OPERATION GRANBY by the British), Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornados attacked Iraqi air bases at low level with 106 JP233 anti-runway weapons and supressed enemy air defenses. With the increasing availability of standoff weapons capable of performing the same mission with little risk to the aircrew and aircraft, the RAF removed the JP233 from service.

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