US Air Combat Command has released video footage on its Facebook page showing ground-based servicemen calling in multiple airstrikes against stationary ground targets using the GBU-39, a 129 kg all-weather, day/night guided munition.
Capable of carrying between 16 and 93 kg of explosives, the system uses GPS and an inertial navigation system to find its target.
The F-16 aircraft involved in the tests, carried out at the Nevada Test and Training Range, were flown out of the nearby Nellis Air Force Base. Along with the F-16, the bombs can be equipped aboard the F-15, F-35, Tornado, AC-130, as well as B-1 Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers.
The desert testing of the GBU-39 comes amid escalating tensions between the US and Iran, with the US building up its military presence in the Middle East in recent weeks to counter what it claims is the "threat" posed by Tehran to US regional interests. Tensions between the countries escalated early last month, after Washington tightened sanctions against the Islamic Republic's oil trade and increased its military presence in the area, including through the deployment of a carrier group. Tehran has slammed the Trump administration's moves and warned that it would retaliate if provoked.