USS George H.W. Bush Continues Strikes Against ISIS


09/24/2014: According to a story in Jane’s the USN is converting older missiles as part of the strike package against ISIS.

Credit: Navy Media Content Services: 9/22/14

The conversion of 500 missiles will run through to the end of January 2017. Although not mentioned in the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) notification, the contract most likely arises from the current USN air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq, where the Maverick missile is being used extensively.

Able to engage targets with more accuracy and from longer ranges, the out-of-production laser-guided Maverick was recently reconstituted by the US Air Force (USAF) as a result of operational experience during Operation ‘Iraqi Freedom’, where it was used on the service’s Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft. In USAF service, the laser-guided Maverick is designated the AGM-65L.

Following the USAF’s example, the USN decided to re-introduce the 300 lb-class laser-guided Maverick to provide a precision strike capability against rapidly moving targets in urban environments. It is this niche capability that makes AGM-65E2 the weapon of choice for the current conflict in Iraq.

Raytheon officials have previously told IHS Jane’s that, while the newer AGM-65E2 looks physically identical to the older AGM-65A/B, they are actually completely different missiles inside.

In the video, Sailors launch and recover aircraft from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) supporting strike, surveillance and reconnaissance missions over Iraq.

These missions help increase U.S. capacity to target ISIL, and coordinate the activities of the U.S. military across Iraq.