Snake Eye Bomb

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Mark 82 "Snakeye" and Mk 81 LDGP free fall bomb (below). Two yellow rings stand for the explosive charge Amatol , one for TNT .
Mk.81 bombs on an A-4F Skyhawk
US Air Force A-7D drops snake eye bombs

Since 1964, the unguided high- explosive bombs (Low-drag general-purpose bomb; LDGP) of the type Mk.81 to Mk.83 , which have a tail cone with air brake surfaces, have been designated as snake eye bombs ( German snake eye bomb ) .


The Snake Eye bombs are the most widely used and sold US bombs. The bombs are used by all NATO countries and other countries.

In the Vietnam War the bombs were beside firebombs used most often. They are mostly used to attack structures, but also armored and unarmored targets over a large area.

Working principle

The special Mk.15 rear set has four air brake surfaces that fold out in a cross shape, which, due to the greatly increased air resistance, ensure a slower rate of fall. The bombs are equipped with a brake tail unit for dropping from a low height. This is intended to reduce the risk of damage to the aircraft being dropped. The fragmentation effect of the bomb shell has the largest share in the destructive power. In the meantime, the Snake Eye are no longer in use by the US armed forces, as they have been replaced by the balloon-like BSU-85 / B "AIR" (Air Inflatable Retarder) delay kits for the Mk.81-83 series.


bomb Weight class (lb) Weight in kg Explosives in kg Length in m Diameter in cm
Mark 81
"Snake Eye"
250 113 44 1.18 22.8
Mark 82
"Snake Eye"
500 227 82 2.21 27.3
Mark 83
"Snake Eye"
1000 454 202 3 35.7

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