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Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining

What are cluster munitions?

A cluster munition is a conventional munition that is designed to release multiple explosive submunitions (in some cases called ‘bomblets’) over a large area. The general definition describes both the container (also in certain circumstances called a dispenser, ‘parent munition’ or carrier) and the submunitions it holds. The number of explosive submunitions varies from as few as ten to up to many hundreds. The size of the individual submunitions may vary considerably. They can be dispersed or released from aircraft, rockets, artillery projectiles, and mortar rounds.