The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully tested indigenously developed light weight glide bomb Smart Anti Airfield (SAAW), on 3rd Nov. 2017 the bomb released from the IAF aircraft was guided through precision navigation system.
According to an official statement, the 'glide bomb' reached the targets at greater than 70 km range, with high accuracies. As many as three test-fires were conducted with different release conditions and ranges. The bomb has been developed by the DRDO's Research Centre Imarat (RCI) in collaboration with DRDO's other laboratories and IAF.
The SAAW project is India’s first fully indigenous anti-airfield weapon project sanctioned by Government in September 2013. SAAW is a long-range lightweight high precision-guided anti-airfield weapon. It is 120 kg smart weapon capable of engaging ground targets with high precision up to a range of 100 km. It can be used to destroy bunkers, runways, aircraft hangers and other reinforced structures.
Unlike missiles, glide bombs have no onboard motor and are therefore far cheaper to build and maintain than missiles. Glide bombs rely on small control surfaces which direct the weapon towards a target as it progressively loses altitude after being released from an aircraft. The key to a precision guided bomb is its seeker which can lock onto a target based on pre-programmed targeting data. The seeker itself can be optical, infrared or a combination of the two and telemetry for the bomb can also be provided from overhead satellites. With a range of 100 kms, the Indian-built glide bomb can be fired on ground targets which are beyond the range of most surface-to-air missile systems in use in Pakistan and China. In other words, the pilot of the fighter dropping the bomb can drop the weapon and escape before entering the range of the radars of enemy surface-to-air missiles which can shoot it down.