"The upgraded launchers allow the B-52 to carry GPS-guided or "smart" weapons in the weapons bay for the first time and are ready for use," the release said on Wednesday.
The enhancement modifies an existing common strategic rotary launcher in the internal weapons bay into a conventional rotary launcher, and increases the total number of smart weapons the B-52 can carry and deliver, the release explained.
The upgrades to the B-52’s weapons bay allow the force to accelerate its transition "from Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missiles to Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile — Extended Range," US Air Force B-52 Program Director Colonel Tim Dickinson said in the release.
The launchers can carry and launch eight Joint Direct Attack Munitions. Future versions will also be able to deploy Joint Air-to-Surface Missiles and Miniature Air Launched Decoys, the release added.