337 TES demonstrates ability to triple B-1 payload

  • Published
  • By Airman Charles V. Rivezzo
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron began its first phase of testing March 22 of a Multiple Ejector Rack to a B-1 Bomber here.

If fielded, 16-carry modified rotary launchers will increase the number of 500-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions and Laser Guided JDAMs carried by the B-1 from 15 to 48, a 320 percent increase in capability.

"This is a big deal for a variety of reasons" Colonel Goodfellow said. "One reason being, it is expensive to operate bombers. However, cost per bomb delivered goes way down with increases in number of bombs that a bomber can carry and deliver."

With this upgrade, one B-1 could carry and deliver up to four times as many precision weapons as a B-52.

Also, the B-1 Multiple Ejector Rack has a mixed-load capability, meaning each bomb bay can hold an assortment of Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-off Missiles, precision 2,000-pound JDAMs, and 500-pound JDAMs. The capability to carry so many different weapons on the same rack gives B-1 aircrews much greater targeting flexibility during combat missions.

"The war we are in requires target specific weaponry that is capable of destroying a single room of a building," said Tech Sgt. David Koscienski, 337 TES weapons suitability NCO in charge. "With the addition of the Multiple Ejector Rack, B-1 operators have the ability to conduct numerous individual attacks and massive air-strikes as needed, without needing to stop to reload."

Aircrews from 337 TES and 419th Flight Test Squadron, Edwards AFB, Calif., flew a Dyess B-1 March 22 equipped with a Multiple Ejector Rack, and successfully released two inert 500-pound JDAMs over China Lake Missile Range, Calif. The aircrew also flew an additional successful mission March 24 to validate the release and safe separation of 500-pound class weapons from the modified rotary launcher.

"The B-1 is absolutely a choice war-fighting platform considering it can carry multiple weapons, each with specific capabilities, and deploy those weapons at a moment's notice," said Sergeant Koscienski. "The adaptation of the Multiple Ejector Rack, along with the sniper pod and laser-guided JDAMs, will increase that same lethal capability to an even greater level."

"This upgrade could certainly enable the B-1 to destroy twice the number of targets, which would save the Air Force money by driving down the cost of destroying enemy targets," said Colonel Goodfellow. "More important than saving money, this upgrade could give the Air Force the ability to destroy greater numbers of targets with fewer B-1s over enemy territory, which would of course put less of our Airmen at risk."