Although the next-generation B-21 Raider bomber will soon take to the air, the Americans will not neglect the modernization of the older B-2 Spirit in service. The hard-to-detect bomber was able to carry a new type of weaponry.
The test launch of the AGM-158B JASSM-ER missile from the B-2 bomber was successfully completed. This is a modernization of the JASSM missile, increasing its range from approx. 370 to almost 1000 km. JASSM ER, despite the similar appearance and dimensions, common electronics and most parts, has an enlarged fuel tank and a more economical engine.
AGM-158 is a maneuvering missile Fr. stealth features. It is designed to attack ground targets. Due to the difficulty of detectability, it has the ability to penetrate anti-aircraft defense enemy and attacking heavily defended or particularly important objects.
AGM-158B JASSM-ER missile
JASSM missile is 4.3 meters long and weighs 975 kg, about half of which is for the warhead. After firing, it moves at subsonic speed, using its own, 2.4 m folding wings during the flight, placed under the flat hull of the missile.
JASSM it has been integrated with many aircraft (including the F-15E, F-16, F-18) and, apart from the United States, is used by the aviation of Australia, Finland and Poland. Poland is also a foreign user, which as the first to order missiles with extended reach JASSM-ER.
The integration of the JASSM-ER with the B-2 bombers gives the Americans new opportunities to perform an attack from a long distance, where both incoming missiles and their carrier will be difficult to detect by radar. The B-2 will be able to carry up to 16 JASSM-ER missiles.
Successor to the B-2 Spirit – the B-21 Raider bomber
The B-2 Spirit bomber is one of the iconic machines of American aviation. Characteristic flying wing shapethe side profile resembling a bird of prey, and above all the ability to attack any place on Earth make this bomber one of the symbols of the power of the American Air Force.
The B-2 is no longer a new plane. It first took off in 1989. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the high cost of production – comparable to the construction of a missile cruiser – meant that only 21 such machines were built, 19 of which remain in service. In 2023, the flight of the successor of the B-2 is planned, i.e. B-21 Raider bomber.
Łukasz Michalik, journalist of Wirtualna Polska