Stunning pics of a B-52 strategic bomber doing some heavy carpet bombing in Jordan

May 20 2015 - 10 Comments

B-52 Stratofortress bomber doing what it does best.

The photographs in this post were taken during a combined live fire demonstration in Wadi Shadiya, Jordan, May 18.

They show a B-52H from 2nd Bomb Wing, from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, drop some 500-lb GBU-38 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) bombs during the “monumental military demonstration” that was the final event of Exercise “Eager Lion” a recurring multinational exercise designed to strengthen military-to-military relationships, increase interoperability between partner nations, and enhance regional security and stability.

Noteworthy, the two B-52 Stratofortress bombers that marked the first participation of strategic bombers to Eager Lion, performed a 30-plus hour, 14,000 mile nonstop mission to the U.S. Central Command area of operations.

Buff carpet bombing

They coordinated the attack with Jordanian JTACs (Joint Terminal Attack Controllers) and, after the attack run, overflew the range escorted by two Royal Jordanian Air Force F-16s.

In addition to 5,000 U.S. servicemen, the two-week yearly exercise saw the participation of Jordanian forces as well as contingents from 16 other countries for a total force of about 10,000 troops.

The exercise was held among five sites across Jordan and based on the scenario of a friendly contingent committed to the aid of an allied nation under threat by an aggressive neighbor. Along with the U.S. Air Force strategic bombers, Jordanian tactical planes and U.S. Army helicopters of the 185th Theater Aviation Brigade’s aviation task force, EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) teams, Seabees and patrol craft were used to perform port security in Aqaba, Jordan’s only coastal city, while a Marine crisis-response force out of Kuwait took part in the drills, practicing non-combatant evacuation operation (NCO) by means of MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft in the north.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps


  • Jan Schmidt

    it is quite impressive that these big monster bombers still fly today, but against 1st and 2nd rate airforces they require protection and still will get shot down (100 m² RCS). Bulit from 1952 to 1962, the airframes are older than their pilots. The B-52 completed fifty years of continuous service with its original
    operator in 2005; after being upgraded between 2013 and 2015, it is
    expected to serve into the 2040s. About 60 B-52 are still operational. The Long Range Strike Bomber program is expected to yield a stealthy B-52 and B-1 successor that would begin service in the 2020s.

  • Allen Thomson

    Note that, if these were real JDAMs, they did not demonstrate their really interesting capability, which is precision off-track delivery. I.e., they’re not only precisionized gravity bombs, they’re precision glide bombs with an ability to steer toward targets well off the initial drop track.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    One wonders if this is a message to someone?

  • Michael Rich

    They should have done the bombing exercises on ISIS positions, haha.

  • Guest

    Second pic is interesting, with the detonation shockwave visible just below the string of bombs. Normally you see it only in humid air when the water vapor condensation makes it visible.

  • dujedcv

    Are you sure that those are JDAMs?

    • WpnsLoader175

      Odds of those being GBU-38/31 Bombs is extremely low. The KMU-572 tail kit (-38) is WAY too expensive to waste on such a release profile (carpet bombing from low/medium alititude). YES a JDAM can be used as a dumb bomb (unguided, fins locked), but that is normally reserved for when the IMU and GPS both fail, or the release platform has issues like no GPS, bad GPS FOM, no communication with the bomb that kind of thing. It is much more likely that what is seen here is old Mk-83’s (1000lbs bomb) with conicle tail kits loaded on the buff’s high density bombing system. At least that is this 2W1’s guess.

    • cencio4

      That’s what was reported on the official caption that accompained the photographs

  • Lamousis

    Excellent results in military exercises. but how about some bombing runs against ISIS in Syria and Iraq? Why all these bombs were spent in simulated war, instead in the real battlefield?

  • Steve G

    Nice pics. But if these are the actual weapons releases in Jordan, the weapons being employed are likely 27 x Mk-82 GP (500lb general purpose) bombs. Even with the new Conventional Rotary Launcher which will bring the MIL-STD-1760 interface (and smart weapons) to the internal bomb bay, the BUFF will be equipped with 8 x GBU-38 JDAMs internal / 12 external pylon-mounted and would hardly ever employ them in this fashion (a train release on an area target.) If you count weapons, there are 27 falling from the aircraft and no external pylons.