Mar 11, 2015
B-1B bomber gets new missiles as it continues to strike in Iraq and Syria
While the aircraft in the Middle East continue to make bombing runs, other Lancers stateside have been involved in a series of experiments to upgrade the plane’s arsenal of weapons.
Air Force officials said Monday that the bomber has become the first U.S. aircraft to be approved for a new long-range missile. The Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER), made by Lockheed Martin, more than doubles the range of the legacy JASSM missile to more than 500 miles. Each missile weighs about 2,000 pounds, and uses infrared technology to find its target.
The older JASSM is used on the B-52 bomber and the F-15E Strike Eagle and F-16 Fight Falcon fighter jets. To date, however, the long-range missile only has been approved for use on the Lancer. It isn’t clear if and when it will be used in airstrikes.
The B-1B also has been involved in testing for another weapon, the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM). The round, developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) with the Navy and the Air Force, has a 1,000-pound warhead. It underwent a successful test flight from the Lancer bomber last month.