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


Image credit: U.S. Air Force

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  1. Why is everyone here it seems worried about the cost? Who gives a beans ! I don’t. I do know that I want the soldier that operates whatever it is that makes it go boom boom know what the hall he is doing. These pictures alone may make some pirate or jihadist think twice before he gets fueled up on tac, and decides to attack another ship

  2. Sorry to disappoint everyone, but although the article is factual, the Bone didn’t drop the bomb shown in the photos. The inert (no high explosives) GBU-24 depicted was NOT dropped by the B-1. While the 4 Sep mission was successful, actual photos are not available to the public at this time.

  3. Seeing this bomb is colored blue and the spash isn’t all that high, isn’t this an inert practice bomb?

  4. Why is the bomb photoshopped into the image? (The camera doesn’t lie but photoshop certainly does)

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