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B-52 successfully drops JASSM from internal bay for first time

Stratofortress' first internal bay drop of missile signals modernization of aircraft.

By Geoff Ziezulewicz

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Aug. 15 (UPI) -- A B-52 Stratofortress recently dropped a Joint Attack Surface Standoff Missile, or JASSM, from the internal weapon bay for the first time, the U.S. Air Force announced Friday.

The B-52 has been able to carry the missiles on its wing pylons, but the recent success marks the first time the munition had been released from the internal bay's conventional rotary launcher, the service said in a statement.

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It marks a new enhancement to the B-52's combat capability for the Global Strike Command.

While the bomber can carry up to 12 JASSMs on its wing pylons, the internal bay capability adds the possibility of carrying eight more missiles.

The B-52's legacy launcher was only able to carry dumb bombs.

Carrying the bombs internally will also lessen drag, letting the aircraft fly farther and faster as a result.

The test took place over the range at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The JASSM is a long-range, conventional, air-to-ground, precision standoff missile designed to destroy high-value, well-defended fixed and relocatable targets.

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