A B-1B Lancer Carried 24 AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-off
Missiles Over The Gulf Of Mexico
A Dyess Air Force Base B-1B Lancer carried a full load of 24
AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-off Missiles on a flight over
the Gulf of Mexico, September 7 -- a first for the B-1 and AGM-158.
"The mission was a success," said Maj. Brian Owen, the chief of
wing weapons and tactics. "Everything went as planned, and we can
verify that the B-1B can in fact operate its full capacity of
B-1 Lancer File Photo
The purpose of the flight was to ensure maintainers, ammo and
munitions Airmen and B-1 aircrew are proficient in uploading,
flying, employing and downloading the AGM-158 JASSM and to test all
missile-related processes to see if there's room for improvement.
None of the missiles were released during this test; they were
system-checked while in the air. "Maintainers loading 24 JASSMs on
one B-1 is a record-setting event," said Senior Master Sgt. Jeff
Rud, of 7th Maintenance Group. "It's never been done before. The
main reason we're doing this is for training. It's the cornerstone
of all we do. It provides us the opportunity to hone our war
fighting skills and gives us the opportunity to project our combat
capability right here out of Dyess (AFB)."
The B-1 is the most capable JASSM employment platform in the
world, Major Owen said. "We've seen the engineering specs that say
it's supposed to work, but it's never been done before. What makes
the B-1 unique versus the other aircraft around the world is that
we can employ these weapons on such a large scale. We can take off
with two aircraft and have the capability to strike 48 different
The second most capable aircraft is the B-2 Spirit, carrying 16
JASMMs, followed by the B-52 Stratofortress with 12.
The AGM-158 JASSM is designed to keep the jet and its crew a
significant distance away from surface-to-air threats while still
holding an enemy's targets at risk.
The AGM-158A is a stealth cruise missile powered by a Teledyne
CAE J402 turbojet that uses flip-out wings with control surfaces
and a single vertical tail for flight control. It's guided by a
jamming-resistant, GPS-aided inertial navigation system and uses an
imaging infrared seeker for autonomous pattern-based target
selection and terminal homing.
The missile is armed with a 1,000 pound WDU-42/B insensitive
munitions penetrating warhead, and accuracy is quoted within 8
feet. It is also equipped with a data link to transmit status and
location information until impact, thus assisting in bomb damage
assessment. "I've been in the aircraft maintenance business for
more than 24 years, and anytime you have the opportunity to do
something first, it is a real morale booster," Sergeant Rud said.
"It gives us here at Dyess (AFB) bragging rights, and that goes a
long way in terms of building pride in your unit and pride in the
aircraft you work on. I have found that people love to do their
primary job, whether it's ammo line delivery crews delivering bombs
or weapons loaders loading bombs.
"It's in these moments that people get energized when they see
their part of an operation come together with the other pieces of
the puzzle that makes them feel good about what they do," he