At least one B-1B bomber equipped with a Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod left its home with the 34th Bomb Squadron at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., last week for a forward operating location in Southwest Asia, according to an Ellsworth photo release. It’s the first deployment of the Sniper pod on the B-1B, following an accelerated effort by Air Force Materiel Command and Air Combat Command developers and testers and contractors Lockheed Martin and Boeing to meet the No. 1 priority for the Combined Forces Air Component Commander. The Sniper pod has performed on fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2005, receiving rave reviews for both its targeting capability and its usefulness in an intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance role.
When the Air Force sets a new program baseline for the B-52 re-engining this fall, there will be “some” cost increase, because the project wasn't previously fully funded, and the Air Force has a better handle on actual supplier costs and knowledge from ground testing, program officials said.