Inches from impact, this is the extraordinary moment a U.S. bomber obliterates a motorboat in a dramatic training exercise.
The U.S. air force wanted to show off its awesome military prowess and the ability of its B-1B Lancer aircraft.
So they flew the supersonic bomber out of the Dyess Air Force Base in Texas towards the Gulf of Mexico for the display.
When the £150 million aircraft picked out its target – a hapless, unmanned dinghy – it launched a laser-guided GBU-10 missile in its direction.
A military photographer then captured the moment the 14ft long weapon was less than 6ft from its target before smashing into it.
The air force wanted to show that, despite being large weapons, they could take out small objects like pirate boats with pinpoint accuracy.
During the tests, the aircraft dropped a total of six munitions include a laser guided 500-pound bomb GBU-54, as well as 500 and 2,000-pound joint direct attack munitions.
The latest display of its capabilities took place on September 4 with the US military releasing details of the exercise this week.
Capt. Alicia Datzman, chief of weapons and tactics, said: “Many of the dynamic targeting skills we’ve refined over the past decade on land are directly applicable in the maritime environment.
“This is the perfect opportunity to validate and refine these tactics.”
Introduced in 1986, the B-1B Lancer has been the backbone of the US Air Force’s bomber fleet thanks to its speed, payload and continuously upgraded capabilities.
Lt. Col. Alejandro Gomez, 337th TES special projects office, added: “This evaluation solidifies what our crew members have already known. We can strike surface targets.
“The knowledge we gain from these events gives combatant commanders assurance that we can be called upon to complete the mission.”