Stunning image captures a split second before a GBU-10 bomb dropped by a B-1 hits a small boat at sea

On Sept. 4, the 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron sent a solo B-1B over the Gulf of Mexico and its sea ranges to prove the concept that Lancers (or “Bones” as the swing wing bombers are dubbed) can be used to attack surface targets whilst at sea; in other words, the goal of the mission was to assess and improve the B-1’s capabilities.

According to the Dyess AFB website the B-1 released six munitions, including a 500lb GBU-54 laser guided bomb as well as 500lb and 2000lb  joint direct attack munitions (JDAM).

Lt. Col. Alejandro Gomez, 337th TES special projects officer said: “This evaluation solidifies what our crew members have already known: We can strike surface targets. The knowledge we gain from these events gives combatant commanders assurance that we can be called upon to complete the mission.”

The mission, called a “a maritime tactics development and evaluation” or TD&E ,saw the B-1 being given the goal of detect, target and engage small boats using currently fielded and available weapons, released in all weather conditions.

The dramatic photo in this post was taken during the mission and shows that the B-1 was very effective in doing its goals: the term “using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut” springs to mind as the GBU-10 is captured a split second before annihilating a small rigid hulled boat.

The Bone would give a group of Pirates a very bad day!

Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com

GBU-10-2

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

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8 Comments

    • We already did that in 1986 when we basically sunk the entire Iranian Navy in a few hours.

      From the Operation Praying Mantis Wikipedia entry:

      “Late in the day, the Iranian frigate IS Sabalan (F73), departed from its berth and fired a surface-to-air missile at several A-6Es from VA-95. The Intruders then dropped a Mark 82 laser-guided bomb into the Sabalan’s stack, crippling the ship and leaving it burning.”

      This story is just “special” because they hit such a small ship.

  1. This is not a GBU-10, which is a Paveway II. It is a GBU-24 Paveway III. The Paveway III kit only fits on a 2000-lb bomb (Mk-84, BLU-109) and can’t be installed on a smaller weapon. So it’s not overkill, it;s just the best weapon for the job. Excellent work on the bomber crew, hitting a moving target with a bomb designed to hit stationary targets.

    • A fly that can put a giant hole in the side of a warship, killing numerous personnel and injuring many others. If the boat had been packed with $24K worth of plastic explosive, it would be a very cheap investment.

  2. The Chair Force could do a better job with the pictures, those pictures show proof of nothing, much less stunning. That GBU could have been photoshopped for all I know.

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