Simulates 72 JASSM Launches On Single Mission
B-1B Lancer bombers here recently demonstrated their superior
flexibility and air power capability by simulating 72 launches of
the bomber’s newest weapon, the joint air-to-surface standoff
missile during JASSM Thunder 05-01.
The exercise is the first operational-level
planning-to-execution exercise for the B-1B bomber featuring its
new JASSM capability, base officials said.
The missile is an air-to-surface, self-propelled weapon with a
single warhead that has an effective range of about 230 miles. It
was designed to penetrate highly defended airspace as an
independent cruise missile to eliminate high-value fixed targets.
It has the ability to strike hard targets, soft targets or targets
of opportunity with precision, officials said.
"We developed the capability to use this weapon, but we
recognized the need for all of the off-base players to be on board
with its employment," said Maj. Joseph Reidy of the 7th Operations
Group. "The JASSM is designed to provide true standoff capability.
By effectively using this weapon, we can keep a $280-million
aircraft and its aircrew as far out of harm’s way as
"This test gives us the ability to realistically (use) this
important weapon system," he said. "But not only that, we are
accurately (using) this weapon in a realistic timeline. Simply put,
this is a weapon that we can shoot, and shoot effectively."
The missile is part of the B-1B Joint Standoff Weapon/JASSM
Integration program, an extension of the B-1B’s upgrade, and
one part of the overall B-1B conventional mission upgrade
"The JASSM can deliver a 1,000-pound penetrator warhead to a
range of (more than 230 miles) with better than 3-(yard) accuracy,"
said Jack Genesevich, 36th Intelligence Squadron senior analyst.
"(It) uses a preloaded wire-frame terminal area model of the target
area to achieve more accurate terminal guidance than is possible
with Global Positioning System (units) alone. Each missile can hold
up to eight (target models) and associated ingress routes to allow
in-flight target selection."
The exercise is the third program in a series of demonstrations
challenging the capabilities and limitations of the B-1B bomber and
its new weapon system. These demonstrations are specifically
designed to hone and improve the essential mission planning and
weapon employment capabilities, said Capt. Steve Sturm, 7th BW