laser-guided GBU-10

Image: US Air Force

The U.S. Air Force proved this month that laser guided bombs can, in fact, hit moving targets at sea when dropped from supersonic bombers like the B-1B Lancer.

On Sept. 4, a B-1 from the 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron took off from Dyess Air Force Base bound for the Gulf of Mexico.  Their goal was to better understand and improve their maritime strike capabilities while using a laser guided 500-pound bomb GBU-54, as well as 500 and 2,000-pound joint direct attack munitions.

SEE ALSO: Missiles Simultaneously Destroy Multiple Fast Attack Craft on Single Fire – VIDEO

“Many of the dynamic targeting skills we’ve refined over the past decade on land are directly applicable in the maritime environment,” said Capt. Alicia Datzman, 337th Tactics and Evaluation Squadron chief of weapons and tactics. “This is the perfect opportunity to validate and refine these tactics.”

us air force pirate boat b-1 lancer

Image: US Air Force

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

The B-1’s role in the tactics development and evaluation was to detect, target and engage small boats using currently fielded and available weapons, released in all weather conditions.

In a statement on the Dyess Air Force Base website, Gomez said that B-1s are also prime aircraft, capable of protecting important assets at sea and patrolling allied shipping lanes, because of its speed and ability to stay in the air longer than most aircraft.

“Future wars might not all be on land, some may include surface combat, so we are evaluating the way we employ the B-1 to aid in completing the mission,” Gomez said.

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    • CharleyA

      It’s not for Somali pirates.

    • Capncraigagain

      You must have missed the reports of murdering their captives. There are four Somali Pirates that are in US custody, in the process of trials in Norfolk, VA as we write, for murdering four Americans.

      Somalis have no conscience or morals. Even when it concerns their own countrymen.

    • Capncraigagain

      There you go. Great to have the words of a Liberal pacifier (Hillary) acknowledge the truth that these pirates are ruthless, as well as stupid.

      Never, ever underestimate a destitute, immoral, and desperate Muslim.

  • CharleyA

    That bomb is almost as big as the speedboat… It also looks like the boat is not maneuvering. The hardest thing to do would be to keep the laser – and the munition – tracking the boat.

    • Alan

      “U could dodge it with a quick jig” <—— Do you believe this guy?

    • Capncraigagain

      THe color of the munitions clues us into its intended use, as well as its capabilities.

      The blue color of the bomb is used for inert weapons. That means instead of going BOOM, they go plop.

      I think that they still call them BLP’s (Big, Large Plop).

      The green color of the nose cone and tail fins are standard for the appendages.

  • John Smith

    That bomb is blue, meaning it is INERT. That is just a splash, not an explosion.

    • Les Smith

      Gives a whole new meaning to “Pork Barrel Project”!

  • Capt. Geest

    A $200 boat destroyed by a $20,000 munition. Makes perfect sense. ‘Murica!!

    • http://www.jeremiahblatz.com/ Jeremiah Blatz

      Perfect definition of asymmetric warfare. It’s like 1776 all over again, except we are the British Empire.

      (Also the guidance package alone is $25k, so the total cost is much higher. Still cheaper than a SEAL team, I guess.)

    • Capncraigagain

      I think of it as “Cost-Effective”. The $20K munition is much cheaper than a Million dollar cruise missile, which is cheaper than one hostage.

      By the way, what is the average ransom being paid?

  • Robert K. Tompsett

    If it goes BOOM! I love it! Rob (Ret. ANG/Air Force)

  • JoeO

    This is an amazing accomplishment, whatever its limitations. It’s a long way from Taranto.

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