I "wonder" if this was the B-1B "upgrade" that "someone" mentioned a couple of months ago...
8/19/2005 - DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFPN) -- The 337th Test and
Evaluation Squadron here set a number of "firsts" recently for the B-1B
Those 'firsts' were demonstrated July 25 over the White Sands Missile Range,
N.M., when two Lancers from Dyess auto-released a Joint Air-to-Surface
Standoff Missile as well as five dissimilar weapons from the same launcher.
The 7th Bomb Wing became the first unit to achieve initial operational
capability of the JASSM cruise missile Aug. 18, which means the missile is
able to be used in combat operations.
"This is a great step forward for the B-1 community and represents a
tremendous leap in capability," said Lt. Col. Pete VanDeusen, 337th TES
The JASSM, or AGM-158A, is an air-to-surface, single warhead self-propelled
missile. The July 25 launch continued the bomber's perfect record for JASSM
launches when it struck its target after traveling more than 170 knots.
The mission's success was made possible by the final testing of new
offensive avionics software designated as Sustainment Block 10, said Capt.
Janette Ho, a 337th TES instructor weapons system officer and SB-10 project
officer. An enhanced version of the Lancer's flight software, SB-10 provides
advanced weapons patterning capability and the ability to load more than one
type of weapon in each of the B-1's three weapons bays.
"In the past, a set of target coordinates had to be entered for every guided
weapon prior to release," Captain Ho said. "With block-10, I can specify
(the) number of weapons in a linear or circular spacing around a single set
of coordinates, greatly improving the ability to strike a maneuvering
In addition to carrying one JASSM each, both B-1Bs used in the White Sands
demonstration carried 28 MK-82 500-pound free-fall, general purpose "dumb"
bombs, one GBU-38 500-pound Global Positioning System-guided Joint Direct
Attack Munitions, one GBU-31 2,000-pound GPS-guided JDAM, and an MK-84
2,000-pound general purpose "dumb" bomb, said Capt. Scott Higginbotham, a
337th TES Lancer pilot who participated in the mission.
Prior to the White Sands demonstration, the B-1B and 337th TES accomplished
another first June 21 when a Lancer over the Gulf of Mexico dropped guided
cluster weapons on a moving maritime target in support of Sinking Exercise
SINKEX East is the latest in a series of Air Force Chief of Staff-sponsored
maritime interdiction exercises to demonstrate the Air Force's capability to
strike targets at sea.
"(The) flight was a superb demonstration of the B-1's ability to effectively
track and engage maritime targets," said Capt. Jeff Miller, SINKEX East
project officer at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
The flight was the culmination of a six-month test to evaluate the maritime
role of an anti-tank weapon, the Cluster Bomb Unit-105 wind corrected
munitions dispenser, Colonel VanDeusen said. The test also evaluated the
B-1's use of its moving target radar mode to find, track and successfully
target three remotely controlled motor boats on three separate runs prior to
releasing two weapons in a single pass.
After proving the B-1's capability in its mission over land and water,
Colonel VanDeusen said the B-1's future looks bright.
"The B-1 is already a combat-proven platform," Colonel VanDeusen said.
"These recent upgrades only increase the B-1's agility, payload, and loiter
capability for the combatant commanders."
The JASSM platform is part of the B-1 Joint Standoff Weapon/JASSM
Integration (JJI) program, an extension of the B-1B's Block E system
upgrades and one part of the overall B-1B conventional mission upgrade
program, officials said. The JASSM was designed to penetrate highly defended
airspace as an independent cruise missile in order to eliminate high-value
Officials said that once completed, the B-1B will have the largest JASSM
capability in the Air Force with a maximum capacity of 24 missiles. Other
platforms that are capable of carrying the JASSM are the B-52
Stratofortress, the B-2 Spirit, the F-117 Nighthawk and the F-16 Fighting
Can a Daisy Cutter fit in a B1B? The MOAB should be able to fit already.
Can't believe the F-15E isn't on that list.