An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

49th EMS switch from mechanical to electrical fuzes on the MK82

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Michelle Ferrari
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs

Crew members from the 49th Equipment Maintenance Squadron built a live Mark 82 bomb using the M904 and M905 mechanical fuzes, the last of which are slated to phase out at the end of the year.

The M904s and M905s have been in use since the 1970s and are vital to the MK-82 bomb.

Designed and manufactured during the first World War, the MK-82 has been used by the U.S. military and other nations in conflicts around the world including Afghanistan, Gaza, Iraq and the Gulf War. Notably, the MK-82 saw extensive deployment in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.

The MK-82 is a 500-pound unguided, low-drag general-purpose bomb and, according to U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Angela McAllister, 49th EMS munitions programs manager, is one of the most versatile bombs.

“The MK-82 is effective against a wide range of targets, including buildings and vehicles,” she said. “Its versatility and destructive power make it a valuable asset for military forces conducting airstrikes in combat zones.”

Outfitted with new, more modern electrical fuzes the MK-82 will remain in the U.S. arsenal for decades to come.

“The mechanical fuze, powered by a windmill in the bomb’s nose and tail, activates the detonation mechanism,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Rodney Belcher, 49th EMS crew chief. “In contrast, the electrical fuze is situated centrally within the bomb, receiving its charge through the wire.”

According to Belcher, this shift from mechanical to electrical force allows for a different kind of energy utilization by moving away from the kinetic energy generated by the windmills at the rear and nose, this will give the pilots more opportunities to figure out how they want to drop the bombs when they're flying, increasing its target accuracy.