THE BONE

B-1 Bomber Association

The B-1A was initially proposed as a replacement for the B-52, and four prototypes were developed and tested before program cancellation in 1977. The program was revived in 1981 as the B-1 B. The vastly upgraded aircraft added 74,000 lb. of usable payload, improved radar, and reduced radar cross section, but cut speed to Mach 1.2. B-1 B saw first combat in Iraq during Desert Fox in 1998. Its three internal weapons bays hold a substantial payload, allowing different weapons in each bay. The bomber’s blended wing/body configuration, variable-geometry design, and turbofan engines provide long range and loiter time. Offensive avionics include SAR for terrain-following and tracking and targeting moving vehicles. Sniper pod was added in 2008. The ongoing integrated battle station modifications is the most comprehensive refresh in the bomber’s history. The three-part upgrade includes the Vertical Situation Display (VSD), which adds a digital cockpit, Fully Integrated Data Link (FIDL) to enhance targeting, command and control, and Central Integrated Test System (CITS), giving aircrew real-time aircraft diagnostics and simplifying maintenance and troubleshooting. FIDL includes Link 16 and Joint Range Extension data link, enabling permanent secure LOS/BLOS/C2. It also adds Ethernet to enable rapid airborne retargeting.
FunctionLong-range conventional bomber
Power PlantFour General Electric F101-GE-102 turbofans, each 30,780 lb. thrust
OperatorAir Force Global Strike Command
First FlightDec. 23, 1974 (B-1A); Oct. 18, 1984 (B-1B)
DeliveredJune 1985-May 1988
IOCOct. 1, 1986, Dyess AFB, Texas (B-1 B)
Production104
Inventory62
Aircraft LocationDyess AFB, Texas; Edwards AFB, Calif.; Eglin AFB, Fla.; Ellsworth AFB, S.D
ContractorBoeing (formerly Rockwell)
AccommodationPilot, copilot, and two WSOs (offensive and defensive), on ACES II zero/ zero ejection seats
DimensionsSpan 137 ft (spread forward) to 79 ft (swept aft), length 146 ft, height 34 ft.
WeightMax Take-Off 477,000 lb.
CeilingMore than 30,000 ft.
PerformanceSpeed 900+ mph at S-L
RangeIntercontinental
Armament75,000 lbs. of weapons to include: 84 Mk 82 (500-1b) or 24 Mk 84 (2,000-lb.) general-purpose bombs; 84 Mk 62 (500-lb.) or eight Mk 65 (2,000-lb.) Quick Strike naval mines; 30 CBU-87/89 cluster bombs or 30 CBU-103/104/105 WCMDs; 24 GBU-31 or 15 GBU-38 JDAMs/GBU-54 LJDAM; 24 AGM-158A JASSM or JASSM-ER.

References:
USAF
Boeing

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