A B-52 Stratofortress, assigned to the USAF’s 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., conducts an operational demonstration of the Quickstrike-ER (QS-ER) Naval mine project at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), May 30, 2019. PMRF is the world’s largest instrumented, multi-dimensional testing and training missile range. A B-52 bomber from the 49th Test Squadron carried out the exercise and released four inert QS64-ER 2000lb mine shapes on a remote shallow water location of the PMRF. This is the final and largest demonstration of the project and is part of a two-year joint effort to develop, test, and operationally demonstrate QS-ER. USINDOPACOM initiated the project as part of ongoing efforts to modernize and enhance military readiness throughout the joint forces in the Indo-Pacific region.
Quickstrike 64-ER (QS-ER) is an air-laid mine equipped with a 2000 lb MK64 Quickstrike naval mine. The Quickstrike is a Mark 80-series general purpose bomb with the fuze replaced with a target detection device (TDD) to detonate it when a ship passes within lethal range, a safe/arm device in the nose, and a parachute-retarder tailkit in the back. The Naval mine project is part of a two-year joint effort to develop, test and operationally demonstrate the capabilities of the QS64-ER that combines Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) technology and an additional wing kit and battery section with existing mine components. This allows it to be delivered long range and high altitude, which significantly reduces risk to the aircraft.
The U.S. Air Force performed the first-ever drop of a precision guided aerial mine, consisting of a Quickstrike mine equipped with a JDAM kit on 23 September 2014. The Quickstrike-J precision maritime mine is a JDAM-equipped 1,000 lb or 2,000 lb version, while the GBU-62B(V-1)/B Quickstrike-ER standoff, precision maritime mine is a 500 lb or 2,000 lb gliding version based on the JDAM-ER, which has a range of 40 nmi (46 mi; 74 km) when launched from 35,000 ft (11,000 m). This aerial maritime mine is compatible, interoperable, and can be employed by virtually any JDAM enabled aircraft, including foreign partners. Current mine technology, while effective, has been largely unchanged since World War II. These innovations and capabilities in the QS-ER project will allow our forces to generate more effective minefields from longer ranges and more rapidly than ever before.