The Swedish Air Force's Gripen Jets dropped Paveway guided bombs to extinguish a raging forest fire in central Sweden yesterday.
According to Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, the 500-pound class GBU-49/B Paveway precision-guided bomb was dropped from 3,000 metres reaching speeds of 550 km/h before hitting its target. It managed to extinguish fires up to 100 metres from the target. Details of the bomb explosion and if there was any collateral damage was not known.
Wildfires had been burning in a forest area of central Sweden for the past two weeks. The area of blaze is in a target-practice area which contains undetonated shells. This has caused difficulty to the fire-fighters to extinguish the fire on the ground.
More than 40 wildfires were burning across Sweden at 3pm on Wednesday and more and more counties have enforced total fire bans, making it illegal to have barbecues even in private gardens.
Short of conventional options, the Armed Forces dispatched two Jas 39C Gripen fighter jets to drop a bomb on the flames, with the hope that the pressure from the blast would help contain the blaze, The Local Sweden reported quoting officials.
"The oxygen from the fire can be removed with the help of a bomb and in this case it was possible to try it, because the fire is at a firing range," said fire and rescue team leader Johan Szymanski in a statement.