Royal Air Force capabilities for missions over Libya have been increased with the arrival of ‘bunker busting’ 2000lb bombs.
Enhanced Paveway III (EPWIII) bombs, designed to punch through the roof or wall of a hardened building, have arrived at Gioia Del Colle in Southern Italy.
The first set has been prepared for use and could be loaded onto an aircraft and flown to attack a Qadhafi regime target in Libya in just a few hours.
The arrival of EPWIII adds to a suite of complementary air to ground weapons carried by the RAF’s Typhoon and Tornado aircraft.
With Enhanced Paveway II, Paveway IV, and Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone the RAF was already equipped to strike a range of targets while minimising collateral damage.
EPWIII gives the RAF an additional capability to attack hardened structures in Libya like command centres or communications nodes. Such targets are key to disrupting Regime control of its forces preventing attacks that could target civilians.
Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox MP, said: "The introduction of Enhanced Paveway III bombs is another way in which we are developing our tactics to protect civilians and achieve the intent of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973.
We are not trying to physically target individuals in Qadhaffi’s inner circle on whom he relies but we are certainly sending them increasingly loud messages. Qadaffi may not be capable of listening but those around him would be wise to do so."