BUFF’s Smart Big-Belly

Weapon-bay modifications are underway to nearly double the B-52’s guided-weapon capacity, enabling internal carriage of JDAM, JASSM, Miniature Air Launched Decoy, and MALD Jammer. “With this modification, we’re converting the bomb bay from dropping just gravity-type bombs to releasing precision-guided weapons,” Boeing spokeswoman Jennifer Hogan said in a Jan. 8 USAF release. “When you combine that ability with the B-52’s unlimited range with air refueling, you have an efficient and versatile weapon system that is valuable to warfighters,” added Boeing’s B-52 Program Director Scot Oathout. Under the $24.6 million contract, Boeing will modify existing rotary-launchers to carry as many as two dozen 500 pound, or 20 2,000 pound JDAMs internally instead of on the wing pylons. Three prototype launchers will be tested with the intention of fielding an initial capability in March 2016, according to USAF. Work is being conducted at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex at Tinker AFB, Okla.