The AGM-86C cruise missile that introduced GPS guided weaponry is bowing out of service

The Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missile that was first used during the opening shots of Operation Desert Storm is being retired, writes Tyler Rogoway for TheDrive.com.

A B-52 releases a Joint Attack Surface Standoff Missile from internal weapons bay at Edwards. This is the first time the JASSM has separated from the Conventional Rotary Launcher in the internal bay of the bomber. The test was the first phase of validation for the CLR. The JASSM is a stealthier munition than CALCM and has and passive infrared target-matching/homing, which gives it more survivability compared to the older missile.
A B-52 releases a Joint Attack Surface Standoff Missile from internal weapons bay at Edwards. This is the first time the JASSM has separated from the Conventional Rotary Launcher in the internal bay of the bomber. The test was the first phase of validation for the CLR. The JASSM is a stealthier munition than CALCM and has and passive infrared target-matching/homing, which gives it more survivability compared to the older missile.
U.S. Air Force image by Christian Turner

BARKSDALE AFB, La., - A staple of the Air Force's long-range strike portfolio has come to the end of the road. The AGM-86C/D Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile (CALCM), the non-nuclear sibling of the AGB-86B that remains in service as the backbone of the B-52's nuclear strike mission, is being put rest after decades of service. The last download of these missiles from a B-52H occurred at Barksdale AFB on November 20th, 2019, marking the final end to the weapon's service, writes Tyler Rogoway for TheDrive.comContinue reading original article

The Intelligent Aerospace take:

November 25, 2019-The Department of Defense's Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile (CALCM) marked the birth of GPS-guided munitions. In addition to GPS, CALCMs utilized inertial navigation as well as terrain guidance to reach its target. Of course, with technology that birthed the modern guided munition stemming from the 70s and 80s, CALCM saw numerous upgrades and led to stealthier, higher tech munitions like the AGM-158 Joint Air-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM). Still, the final CALCM download marks the end of an era and the last of the forefather of the "smart" munitions utilized across the DoD.

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Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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