Supersonic Raptor Drops First Guided Bomb on Military.com:
Since July, Raptor program have flown seven JDAM supersonic separation test missions under a variety of conditions. The aim is to prove the JDAM can safely separate from the aircraft.
But none of the previous tests used a JDAM guidance system.
“This was the first Raptor supersonic guided JDAM. The first one to guide to a target,” said Maj. John Teichert, the 411th Flight Test Squadronâ€™s test pilot for the mission.
This release marks a dramatic increase in the stealth jets air-to-ground capability by clearing the first phase of the JDAM supersonic envelope, he said.
“The supersonic envelope allows the Raptor to release precision air-to-ground weapons at long stand-off ranges while performing its global strike mission,” Major Teichert said.
The supersonic JDAM capability allows the Raptor to deliver the weapon from a much greater distance than any other aircraft.
As long as it was intentional. Given the fact that the USAF just decided to remove the ‘Aâ€™ designator from the Raptor, Murdocâ€™s wondering if the bomb just fell off in mid-flight once the decision that the Raptor was no longer an ‘attackâ€™ plane had been made.
Seriously, though, this is a good thing. While the Raptor is primarily an air superiority/dominance fighter, taking down radar installations and missile sites is a critical part of air dominance strategy and this fits in with the “kick in the doors” mentality that many use with respect to the Raptor. Just remember “Fighter…The Raptor is a fighter.”
The Raptor will begin testing the 250-pound Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) JDAM next year.
-cross-posted by Murdoc