US B-1B bomber hits a target in Jordan with an AGM-158A missile

A bomber of the United States Air Force made a long training flight. Some media are already calling it “unprecedented” as the flight was from Britain to the Persian Gulf. The bomber was armed with several types of weapons, including the AGM-158A Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile [JASSM] and the GBU-39.

According to a report posted on Twitter, the B-1B fired an AGM-158A at a target in Jordan. The target was “~30km W of Muwaffaq Salti AB,” the report said. GBU-39 small-diameter bombs were also fired, but where exactly is not mentioned.

The bomber was loaded with ammunition back in Britain. It is part of the inventory of the Ninth Air Force [Air Forces Central] of the U.S. Central Command [CENTCOM]. The deployment of AGM-158A took place on June 8. The U.S. described the flight as “unprecedented” and “historic” as it was the first time a U.S. B-1B had flown. Air Forces Central [AFCENT] flies so many different munitions.

US B-1B bomber hits a target in Jordan with an AGM-158A missile
Photo credit: Twitter

What is an AGM-158A missile?

The AGM-158A missile is a precision-guided munition that uses a combination of GPS and inertial navigation systems to guide it to its target. This guidance system allows the missile to accurately navigate to its intended target, even in adverse weather conditions or in areas with limited visibility.

In addition to its GPS and inertial navigation systems, the AGM-158A missile also has a data link that allows it to receive updates and guidance from ground-based or airborne platforms. This feature enables the missile to be redirected to a different target or to adjust its flight path in real time.

What targets does the AGM-158 “hunt” for?

AGM-158 JASSM air-launched cruise missile
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The AGM-158A missile is primarily designed to destroy high-value, heavily defended, fixed, and relocatable targets. These targets include command and control centers, air defense systems, communication infrastructure, and other critical military facilities.

Additionally, the AGM-158A missile can be used to attack naval vessels, including aircraft carriers and other large warships. The missile’s long-range and high-speed capabilities make it difficult for enemy ships to evade or intercept.

US B-1B bomber hits a target in Jordan with an AGM-158A missile
Photo credit: Twitter

The AGM-158A missile has a 1,000-pound class warhead, which means it weighs approximately 450 kilograms. The warhead on the AGM-158A missile is a penetrating blast-fragmentation type, which is designed to penetrate hardened targets such as underground bunkers and command centers.

B1-B and AGM-158A – a deadly wepoan

The fact is that the B-1B bomber can carry a very large payload. Of course, this compared to a regular fighter, whatever, is very much in the bomber’s favor. But one of the main advantages of the B-1B that makes its combination with the AGM-158A “deadly” is the flight height.

The greater the height, the greater the range of the rocket. This allows the missile to be launched from a greater distance, reducing the risk of the launch pad and increasing the probability of a successful mission.

US B-1B bomber hits a target in Jordan with an AGM-158A missile
Photo credit: Twitter

The combination is “deadly” for another reason – the launch distance. The B-1B bomber has a range of over 6,000 miles, which is much longer than most fighter jets. This allows the B-1B to fly longer missions and engage targets that are further away. Therefore, launching from high and far from the B-1B platform allows the missile to penetrate enemy targets at low altitudes. In this way, the enemy’s air defense system network is avoided.

It is important because China

The strategic significance of deploying B-1B bombers in the Pacific is multifaceted. First, the B-1B is a long-range, multi-role bomber capable of striking targets with a variety of weapons, including conventional and nuclear payloads. This makes it a valuable asset for deterrence and power projection in the region.

Second, the deployment of B-1B bombers in the Pacific sends a clear message to potential adversaries, such as China, that the United States is committed to maintaining a strong military presence in the region. This can help deter aggressive actions and promote stability.

Finally, the B-1B’s ability to operate from a variety of airfields and launch platforms makes it a flexible and adaptable asset for a wide range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, and strike operations. This versatility is particularly important in the dynamic and rapidly evolving security environment of the Pacific region.

B-1B bomber in the Pacific Ocean

The B-1B bombers are typically deployed to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, which is a US territory located in the western Pacific Ocean. From Guam, the bombers can conduct operations in the region, including around China and Taiwan.

During these deployments, the B-1B bombers also operate from other locations in the region, such as Australia, Japan, and South Korea. These deployments are part of the US military’s efforts to maintain a presence in the region and ensure regional security and stability.


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