Smarter from the Inside Out

A modified B-52H began developmental testing of the conventional rotary launcher that will enable the fleet to carry smart weapons internally and nearly double its smart-weapon warload, officials announced. “By providing smart weapons capability in the bay, the bomber can be employed in a clean wing configuration … thus increasing its range and loiter time,” Boeing Project Manager Jeff Lupton said in a release. The 419th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB, Calif., installed the first CRL in December, which was developed by Boeing and a team at Tinker AFB, Okla. Edwards will conduct a series of ground trials and “after the data analysis and review is complete, we will conduct a series of flight tests to include live weapon releases,” added Lupton. The first increment of software and hardware modifications will allow internal carriage of Joint Direct Attack Munitions, while future increments will expand the capability to include Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles and Miniature Air Launched Decoys, according to the release.