AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missile

AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missile

Contractor: Raytheon Missile Systems

Power Plant: Williams International Corp. F-112-WR-100 turbofan engine

Thrust: 700+ lbs

Length: 20 ft, 10 in

Weight: 3,500 pounds

Diameter: 29 in

Wingspan: 10 ft, 2 in

Range: 2,000+ miles

Guidance System: Inertial navigation with terrain contour matching and laser Doppler velocimeter updates

Warhead: Nuclear capable

The AGM-129A advanced cruise missile is a stealth, nuclear-capable cruise missile used exclusively by U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers.

The AGM-129A is a subsonic, turbofan-powered, air-launched cruise missile. It is harder to detect, and has greater range and accuracy than the AGM-86 air-launched cruise missile. The ACM achieves maximum range through its highly efficient engine, aerodynamics and fuel loading. B-52H bombers can carry up to six AGM-129A missiles on each of two external pylons for a total of 12 per aircraft. When the threat is deep and heavily defended, the AGM-129 delivers the proven effectiveness of a cruise missile enhanced by stealth technology. Launched in quantities against enemy targets, the ACM's difficulty to detect, flight characteristics and range result in high probability that enemy targets will be eliminated.

The AGM-129A's external shape is optimized for low observables characteristics and includes forward swept wings and control surfaces, a flush air intake and a flat exhaust. These, combined with radar-absorbing material and several other features, result in a missile that is virtually impossible to detect on radar.

The AGM-129A offers improved flexibility in target selection over other cruise missiles. Missiles are guided using a combination of inertial navigation and terrain contour matching enhanced with highly accurate speed updates provided by a laser Doppler velocimeter. These, combined with small size, low-altitude flight capability and a highly efficient fuel control system, give the United States a lethal deterrent capability well into the 21st century.

In 1982 the Air Force began studies for a new cruise missile with stealth characteristics after it became clear that the AGM-86B would soon be too easy to detect by future air defense systems. In 1983 General Dynamics was awarded a contract to develop the new AGM-129A ACM. The first test missile flew in 1985; the first missiles were delivered to the Air Force in mid-1990.

Plans called for an initial production of approximately 1,500 missiles. The end of the Cold War and subsequent budget cuts led the Air Force to cease production after 460 missiles, with the final delivery in 1993. Several corporate changes during production resulted in Raytheon Missile Systems as the final production firm.

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As one of Lockheed Martin’s first cruise missiles, JASSM has experienced over 20 years of successful partnership with the U.S. Air Force, providing continued significant long-range, precision engagement capabilities for air-to-ground missions. The combat proven and mission effective weapon system is designed to destroy high-value, well-defended, fixed and relocatable targets from significant standoff range, keeping aircrews well out of danger from hostile air defense systems without compromise to lethality or reach.

stealth cruise missile

JASSM initial production begins

stealth cruise missile

JASSM-ER enters service with the U.S. Air Force

stealth cruise missile

19 JASSMs are successfully employed in the battlespace during the Syrian Civil War

stealth cruise missile

New, advanced facility comes online, allowing for increased AGM-158 production

The ever-evolving threat environment demands our warfighters have the right tools at the right quantity to complete today’s and tomorrow’s missions. Lockheed Martin is committed to ensuring the warfighter is well-equipped for those missions by making key infrastructure investments in production and manufacturing lines.

In June 2022, Lockheed Martin brought online a new 225,000 square-foot manufacturing facility including a fully robotic paint line, increased automation in testing processes, as well as dynamic factory modeling for future production forecasting. This facility in addition to the current production line enables the workforce to produce JASSM systems more quickly and affordably. 

Transforming Today for the Future Fight

Business Development For information regarding JASSM sales, suppliers, production or sustainment:

U.S. Air Force / Domestic Brian Hastings (407) 356-2418 FMS / International Business Development Ben Strickland (407) 356-3726 Lawrence Pravecek (703) 413-2653

Media Relations For media queries or questions regarding public release clearances: (407) 760-4610 

Advanced Cruise Missile guidance system description

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Army-2022: Russia unveils Kh-69 stealth cruise missile

22nd August 2022 - 14:00 GMT | by Leonid Nersisyan in Yerevan

The Kh-69 cruise missile has a rectangular cross-section, implying a stealth capability. (Photo: Michael Jerdev)

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The Kh-69 has been developed to engage stationary targets with known co-ordinates, as well as additional information about the environment near to the target. Kh-69 can be fired from various Russian combat aircraft – the Su-30, Su-34 , Su-35, Su-57 and MiG-31 . The missile uses a combination of inertial and satellite navigation as well as an EO seeker for final guidance. 

The missile's firing range is 290km and maximum

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Leonid Nersisyan

Leonid Nersisyan

Leonid Nersisyan is a defence analyst and research fellow at APRI Armenia. He is a …

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  • Sandboxx News Home

America’s B-2 bomber successfully fires stealthy cruise missiles

  • By Alex Hollings
  • August 30, 2022

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stealth cruise missile

The United States recently conducted a successful test launch of the stealthy long-range cruise missile, known as the JASSM-ER, from the payload bay of an airborne B-2 Spirit, coupling the world’s only operational stealth bomber with a significant new capability. The test was first announced by Northrop Grumman last week, though the firing itself took place last December.

With the B-21 Raider cruising toward service later this decade, America’s fleet of B-2s may be slated for retirement in the not-too-distant future, but it is still picking up advanced new capabilities in the meantime.

“The unrivaled capabilities of the B-2 make it the only long range, penetrating stealth bomber currently in the U.S. arsenal,” said Shaugnessy Reynolds, vice president and B-2 program manager for Northrop Grumman. “Committed to continued modernization of the B-2, we’re leveraging our company’s innovation in digital engineering and its decades of leadership in designing and maintaining low observable platforms to keep the B-2 Spirit mission ready,” he added

Northrop Grumman Continues B-2 Spirit Modernization With Integration Of JASSM-ER - MilitaryLeak

The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is America’s (and the world’s) first operational heavy payload stealth bomber. It first took flight in 1989 and entered service in 1997. Contrary to popular belief, stealth fighters like the F-35 and F-22 are not particularly difficult to detect using low-frequency early-warning radar arrays. However, these arrays, which can often spot a stealth fighter, lack the image fidelity required to actually target an aircraft, even when you know it’s there.

The stealthy flying wing design of the B-2 Spirit, on the other hand, is exceedingly difficult to detect even for those low-frequency arrays, making it arguably the stealthiest operational aircraft in service today, despite its age.

Related: America’s enemies can track stealth fighters on radar (here’s why that doesn’t matter)

Why launching a stealthy cruise missile from the B-2 matters

B-2 Spirit > Air Force > Fact Sheet Display

The combination of this low-observable bomber platform and the AGM-158B JASSM-ER, or Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range, makes for an even more potent one-two punch of stealthy firepower.

The JASSM-ER is the latest iteration of the JASSM to enter service. It’s a low-observable, subsonic cruise missile with a range of at lest 575 miles. This allows launch platforms to fire the missile from well outside the range of most air defense systems. When coupled with a stealthy launch platform like the B-2, the JASSM-ER could potentially be used to engage even the most heavily defended targets while minimizing the risk to bomber crews.

The B-2 has also seen other updates as of late, including the implementation of the Air Force’s new Radar Aided Targeting System (RATS), which aids in the targeting of nuclear weapons even when access to GPS satellites is being impeded.

Read more from Sandboxx News

  • The most advanced bomber ever: Here’s what we know about the B-21
  • Was America’s Aurora hypersonic aircraft real?
  • America’s enemies can track stealth fighters on radar
  • Russia’s stealth fleet ranks 11th in the world 
  • H-20: What we know about China’s stealth bomber

Related Posts

An israeli f-35 just took down a cruise missile mid-flight, a filipino attack jet reportedly beat the f-22 in air combat exercises, how f-14 and f-15 pilots trained to take down the legendary blackbird, us announces development of powerful new nuclear bomb, new space force painting offers a glimpse of space warfare, america’s new stealth bomber begins taxi tests ahead of first flight.

stealth cruise missile

Alex Hollings

Alex Hollings is a writer, dad, and Marine veteran.

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