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B-2 achieves 'consecutive miracle'

Released: May 19, 1998


WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. (AFNS) -- Flying the B-2 bomber Spirit of Louisiana, Maj. Darrell Davis and Capt. Doug Carpenter, both from the 509th Bomb Wing's 393rd Bomb Squadron, dropped four 2,000 p ound BLU-109 versions of the Joint Direct Attack Munition against three targets on the White Sands Missile Range April 28.

The high-altitude drop included targeting two of the near-precision weapons against the same point. Less than one second apart, the second bomb directly followed the first into the same hole, achieving what is referred to by bomber and fighter crews as a "consecutive miracle."

"Having two weapons enter the target at the same point has been done with optically-guided weapons, but never with a launch and leave weapon," said Maj. Jim Rabb, mission test conductor. "This weapon, in conjunction with the B-2, has proven itself extremely effective, and like all weapons with launch and leave capability, it adds to survivability while allowing the aircraft to go after up to 16 targets in a single pass.

"What really makes this special is the mating of the B-2's GPS-Aided Targeting System with the launch and leave capability of the GPS-Aided Munition. The B-2 provides war-fighting commanders a highly accurate, all-weather, day or night delivery system," he said.

This was the first operational test of the BLU-109. The weapon is made to go after buried targets such as bunkers or above ground reinforced concrete buildings. The purpose of the test was to determine accuracy and penetration of the targets.

"The test exceeded everyone's expectations. The weapons proved to be extremely accurate, and went much deeper into the granite than the physicists expected," said Col. Bill Percival, 509th Operations Group commander.

"This additional capability for the B-2 is testimony to what a former Air Force chief of staff said about changing the way we think about airpower, and the fact that now we look at how many targets we can attack with a single aircraft. Again, we've added another very effective, very efficient arrow to America's quiver," said Brig Gen. Tom Goslin Jr., former 509th Bomb Wing commander.

RELATED SITES

* B-2 Spirit
* Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.
* Brig Gen. Tom Goslin Jr.