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BOEING AGM-86B ALCM

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing AGM-86B (ALCM) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing AGM-86B (ALCM) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The AGM-86B cruise missile is an air-to-ground nuclear weapon launched from B-52 bombers. The ALCM is self-guided -- it finds its preselected target by comparing prerecorded contour maps with terrain "seen" by its sensors. The cruise missiles wings, tail surfaces and engine inlet are folded while the ALCM is being carried, and deploy upon launching. B-52s can carry as many as 20 AGM-86Bs, permitting a bomber force to saturate defenses by launching missiles in large numbers. The ALCM is hard to detect on radar because of its small size and low-altitude flight profile.

The AGM-86B became operational in December 1982. A later model, the AGM-86C, carrying a conventional blast/fragmentation warhead and navigating with a global positioning system, was used in combat for the first time in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm.

This AGM-86B on display made five test flights between January 1980 and October 1982. It was acquired by the museum in February 1983.

TECHNICAL NOTES:
Armament:
One nuclear warhead
Engine: Williams International F107-WR-10 turbofan of 600 lbs. thrust
Maximum speed: 500 mph
Range: 1,500 miles
Span: 12 ft.
Length: 20 ft. 9 in.
Body diameter: 24 in.
Weight: 3,100 lbs. loaded

(Current as of January 2014)