September 17, 1992: B-2 Rotary Launcher Testing

  • Published
  • Air Force Flight Test Center

A B-2 successfully released a 2,000 lb MK84 conventional weapon shape from the bottom position of a rotary launcher. This was the first release of a conventional bomb shape from a rotary launcher assembly on any aircraft type, and helped to pave the way for future deployment of precision guided munitions on the new bomber.

The aircraft carries all its weapons internally and is fitted with two separate weapons bays in the center of the aircraft. The B-2 stealth bomber has the capacity to carry up to 40,000 pounds of weapons, including conventional and nuclear weapons, precision-guided munitions, gravity bombs and a range of maritime weapons.  Each weapons bay was equipped with a rotary launcher and two bomb-rack assemblies. In tests, the B-2 successfully released B-61 and B-83 nuclear and mk84 conventional bombs from the rotary rocket launcher, and mk82 and CBU-87 conventional weapons from the bomb racks. The B61-11 is an earth-penetrating nuclear bomb for use against deeply buried and hardened targets. The B83 is a strategic free-fall nuclear bomb.

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