Photo from the cockpit: B-52 bomber drops a live stealthy Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile

A live Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile was dropped by a B-52H during Combat Hammer exercise.

The image in this post was taken on May 5, from the cockpit of a B-52H flying a sortie of an Air Combat Command exercise dubbed “Combat Hammer” which involved the use of live cruise missiles and PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions).

Among the weapons used during the exercise there was the JASSM stealthy Air-Launched Cruise Missile, one of the Air Force’s most effective weapons.

The radar-evading AGM-158 JASSM is able to destroy targets at distances of 370 km, well outside the reach of enemy Surface to Air Missile batteries. The new missile uses its inertial navigation and GPS (global positioning systems) to find its target, and an infrared seeker for pinpoint accuracy right before impact. The weapon is jamming resistant and able to operate in “contested and degraded environments”.

The JASSM is one of the newest weapons to be integrated onto the B-52.

Several Air Force Global Strike Command B-52H Stratofortresses and B-2 Spirit stealth bombers (along with other three aircraft types, including Remotely Piloted Vehicles out of Creech AFB) took part in the evaluation, which allowed ACC to validate the accuracy and capability of its conventional weapons during multiple sorties flown over the Utah Test and Training Range.

Precision guided munitions dropped during Combat Hammer included Paveway II LGBs (Laser Guided Bombs) and multiple variants of the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), two types of weapons that have been extensively used in conflicts across the world.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force



About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.