Weeks after the U.S. Air Force proved it could mount an advanced stealth cruise missile externally on the B-1B Lancer for the first time, it has taken the next step, test-firing an inert missile from under the B-1's fuselage.
The 419th Flight Test Squadron out of Edwards Air Force Base, California launched a practice round of the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) from the bomber on Dec. 4. The news of the test, conducted at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, was first reported by Defense News.
The missile was launched from the external pylon outside the Lancer's internal bomb bay. The pylon typically carries the bomber's‘Sniper’ targeting pod, a tracking device used for target detection and identification.
A compartment to carry bombs.
A pillarlike structure on the wing of an aircraft used for carrying an engine, weapon, fuel tank, or other load.
The USAF plans to refurbish some of the existing B-1B Lancer bombers with external pylons designed to haul hypersonic weapons.