DAMASK is also an acronym
describing a piece of U.S. military ordnance
. In this usage, DAMASK stands for Direct Attack Munition Affordable Seeker. It is an add-on for the incredibly multitalented Mark-84 gravity bomb
, and consists of a steering fin tailkit
and an infrared
imager in the nose. The IR imager contains a preloaded IR signature
or 'image' of the target - a tank
, or ship, say - and the weapon attempts to guide itself to the target by homing on this signature. This makes it a smart weapon
(as opposed to competent munition
) in that it seeks its target independent of the target's current location.
The technique used is very similar to the DSMAC technique used in earlier Tomahawk cruise missiles to guide the weapons in their final seconds of flight. The primary difference is that the DAMASK uses a cheap IR sensor where the Tomahawk uses a more complex video and computer imaging system.