Munitions / Bombs / Durandal


General Facts

  • TYPE
    Anti-runway bomb


    BLU-107 (US military)

    Early to mid 1970's


    Late 1970's - present

    France - Matra

    29.000 in 1986


    Very effective against runways
    Damage pattern difficult to repair
    Must be dropped while flying over the runway


The Durandal is a penetration bomb of French origin. It was developed in the early 1970's at the request of the French air force. It is specifically developed for use against runways. The design is based on an earlier French-Israeli development which proved very successful during the 1967 Six Day War. The Durandal is named after a mythical medieval sword.


Externally the Durandal looks more like a missile than a bomb since it has a long an thin body. The Durandal functions in a unique way. When dropped it is retarded by a parachute until it faces downwards upon which a rocket motor located in the middle of the weapon is fired. The velocity created by the rocket motor allows it to penetrate the runway. The warhead that is located at the front then explodes beneath the runway for maximum damage.


The Durandal is capable of penetrating 38 cm of concrete before the warhead explodes. The limited size 15 kg warhead does much more damage than a much heavier conventional bomb would achieve. The Durandal results in a crater 2 meters deep and 5 meters wide. Around the crater the tarmac is dislodged resulting in a damage area of 150 to 275 squared meters depending on runway thickness.


The Duranal can be carried by a wide variety of aircraft, most of which are of French origin. The list includes the Jaguar, Mirage 3, Mirage 5, Mirage F1, Mirage 2000, Super Etendard, Hawk, Alpha Jet, A-4 Skyhawk, F-5 Tiger, F-4 Phantom, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-111 Aardvark. All aircraft can carry multiple Durandals due to its limited weight. On some externals stores mounts two durandals can be fitted behind each other.


The Durandal was acquired by France and nearly 20 other nations. During the 1991 Gulf War the Durandal was dropped by both French and US forces.



The Durandal is a penetration bomb developed specifically for use against airfields. It is a unique bomb as it is first retarted by parachute and then boosted by a rocket for extra penetration. No variants of the Durandal were developed.

TypePenetration bomb
Diameter0.223 m
Wingspan0.42 m
Length2.49 m
Weight185 kg
Warhead15 kg HE
GuidanceNone, free fall
Launch envelopeUp to Mach 1.8 at 10 km
Remarks356 mm lug spacing

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