by Jenny Gordon
78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
5/26/2015 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- When
an AIM-9X air intercept missile is deployed from an Air Force weapon
system, the pilot needs to be confident it'll get the job done.
Known as Common Munitions Built-in Test Reprogramming Equipment, this
portable field tester and mission programmer is attached to various
compatible precision-guided smart weapons, such as bombs and missiles,
in order to ensure everything is working properly.
The Air Force recently received delivery of the 1,000th CMBRE unit --
purchased for Belgium by the Air Force -- from Orbital ATK. It's also
used by the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command and 31
foreign military sales countries.
The testers are used to support countless weapons carried on the
AC-130J, F-15, F-16, F-18, F-35 and others. The CMBRE program is managed
here, housed under the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center's
Automatic Test Systems Division.
A small team of program managers, engineers and equipment specialists
perform work here; however, CMBREs are located in more than 200
facilities across the globe.
Small testing is supported at Robins to recreate potential problems as requested by a customer.
"This is significant, a milestone for not only the Air Force but also
our foreign military sales partners, U.S. Navy and Marines," said James
Annis, CMBRE program manager.
Once the CMBRE is attached, it initiates the weapon's built-in test
status, whether it's an advanced anti-radiation guided missile, massive
ordnance penetrator, small diameter bomb or an advanced medium range
Electrical signals are generated by the tester into a weapon to diagnose
any problems and determine if it's working as it should.
The CMBRE has the ability to test itself, reprogram the munition's
operational flight program, upload mission planning data, and upload and
download global positioning system data. It can also verify applicable
Development began in 1996, with fielding of the CMBRE Block II configuration taking place in 2006.
Software upgrades will continue to be a challenge in the future in order
to be compatible with various weapons, along with hardware obsolescence
issues. The CMBRE is expected to be in use until at least 2035.