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 Squadron’s test pilot for the mission.
This release marks a dramatic increase in the stealth jet’s 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 ‘A’ designator from the Raptor, Murdoc’s wondering if the bomb just fell off in mid-flight once the decision 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 at Defense Tech