The successful bomb drop in early August marks the B-1B’s first combat
operation using the Sniper ATP. The 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron (EBS), from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, used the Sniper pod to attack targets in Afghanistan with the guided bomb unit-38 JDAM. The Sniper ATP
generates precise geo-coordinates for J-Series weapons, like JDAM, in real time.
“Sniper ATP brings an amazing new capability to the already amazing B-1,” said Col. Marilyn Kott, 379th Expeditionary Operations Group Commander.
Sniper® ATP: The New ‘Backbone’in Afghanistan Earlier this year, the U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin and Boeing teams responded to an urgent need request from the U.S. Air Force, Central Command, by rapidly integrating, testing, training and fielding the Sniper pod on the B-1 aircraft.
Training began in February at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., for the B-1 crews, including the flight crew that deployed this July. Sniper Systems Engineer Sean Quinn, who trained 10 of the crews, said, “The flight crews found Sniper pod operation intuitive, allowing them to learn the system rapidly. As they learned how the pod worked, they simultaneously
developed tactics for its use in theater.”
In May, the Edwards Global Power Bomber Combined Test Force and the 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES)from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, came together to perform developmental and operational tests at Edwards AFB. This
Now Proven in Combat on the B-1B, the Sniper ATP Takes U.S. Air Force Tactics to a New Level marked the first time the operational and developmental testing was performed at the same time and location.
This joint testing shortened program testing from two months to two weeks. The overall program time was shortened from nine months to three months.
“Combining the developmental and operational tests puts a significant strain on the team, but it’s a testament to how fast we can go if we need to,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Brunner, 337th TES Commander. “If the Warfighter has a critical need, we can get it out to them in record time.”
To finish the deployment preparation, a Lockheed Martin training team went to Ellsworth AFB to “spin up” the 34th EBS maintainers on the Sniper pod
maintenance. In late July, the crew deployed to Asia with the Sniper ATP-equipped B-1Bs.