HomeAbout UsFact SheetsDisplay

B-1B Lancer

OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM -- A B-1B Lancer performs a low-level fly-by for troops deployed for Operation Enduring Freedom on Oct. 27. The B-1B's three internal weapons bays can accommodate up to 84 MK-82 general purpose bombs or MK-62 naval mines, 30 CBU-87/89 cluster munitions or CBU-97 Sensor Fused Weapons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeca M. Luquin)

OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM -- A B-1B Lancer performs a low-level fly-by for troops deployed for Operation Enduring Freedom on Oct. 27. The B-1B's three internal weapons bays can accommodate up to 84 MK-82 general purpose bombs or MK-62 naval mines, 30 CBU-87/89 cluster munitions or CBU-97 Sensor Fused Weapons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeca M. Luquin)

A B-1B Lancer flies a combat patrol over Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The B-1B has the capability to carry guided and unguided weapons and deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against specific targets. (U.S. Air Force illustration)

A B-1B Lancer flies a combat patrol over Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The B-1B has the capability to carry guided and unguided weapons and deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against specific targets. (U.S. Air Force illustration)

Mission
Carrying the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory, the multi-mission B-1 is the backbone of America's long-range bomber force. It can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time.

Features
The B-1B's blended wing/body configuration, variable-geometry wings and turbofan afterburning engines, combine to provide long range, maneuverability and high speed while enhancing survivability. Forward wing settings are used for takeoff, landings, air refueling and in some high-altitude weapons employment scenarios. Aft wing sweep settings - the main combat configuration -- are typically used during high subsonic and supersonic flight, enhancing the B-1B's maneuverability in the low- and high-altitude regimes. The B-1B's speed and superior handling characteristics allow it to seamlessly integrate in mixed force packages. These capabilities, when combined with its substantial payload, excellent radar targeting system, long loiter time and survivability, make the B-1B a key element of any joint/composite strike force.

The B-1 is a highly versatile, multi-mission weapon system. The B-1B's synthetic aperture radar is capable of tracking, targeting and engaging moving vehicles as well as self-targeting and terrain-following modes. In addition, an extremely accurate Global Positioning System-aided Inertial Navigation System enables aircrews to navigate without the aid of ground-based navigation aids as well as engage targets with a high level of precision. The addition of a fully integrated data link (FIDL) with Link-16 capability provides improved battlefield situation awareness and secure beyond line of sight reach back connectivity.  In a time sensitive targeting environment, the aircrew can use targeting data received from the Combined Air Operations Center or other command and control assets to strike emerging targets rapidly and efficiently.

The B-1B's onboard self-protection electronic jamming equipment, radar warning receiver (ALQ-161) and expendable countermeasures (chaff and flare) system and a towed decoy system (ALE-50) complements its low-radar cross-section to form an integrated, robust defense system that supports penetration of hostile airspace. The ALQ-161 electronic countermeasures system detects and identifies the full spectrum of adversary threat emitters then applies the appropriate jamming technique either automatically or through operator inputs.

Current modifications build on this foundation. Radar sustainability and capability upgrades will provide a more reliable system and may be upgraded in the future to include an ultra high-resolution capability and automatic target recognition. The addition of Link-16 and FIDL combined with associated cockpit upgrades will provide the crew with a much more flexible, integrated cockpit, and will allow the B-1 to operate in the fast-paced integrated battlefield of the future. Several obsolete and hard to maintain electronic systems are also being replaced to improve aircraft reliability.

Background
The B-1A was initially developed in the 1970s as a replacement for the B-52. Four prototypes of this long-range, high speed (Mach 2.2) strategic bomber were developed and tested in the mid-1970s, but the program was canceled in 1977 before going into production. Flight testing continued through 1981.

The B-1B is an improved variant initiated by the Reagan administration in 1981. Major changes included and additional structure to increase payload by 74,000 pounds, an improved radar and reduction of the radar cross section by an order of magnitude. The inlet was extensively modified as part of this RCS reduction, necessitating a reduction in maximum speed to Mach 1.2.

The first production B-1 flew in October 1984, and the first B-1B was delivered to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, in June 1985. Initial operational capability was achieved on Oct. 1, 1986. The final B-1B was delivered May 2, 1988.

The United States eliminated the nuclear mission for the B-1 in 1994. Even though the Air Force expended no further funding to maintain nuclear capabilities, the B-1 was still considered a heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armament until 2007. The conversion to conventional only began in November 2007 under the original START treaty and was completed in March 2011 under the New START treaty. To make that conversion possible, two steps were taken:

During the first step a metal cylindrical sleeve was welded into the aft attachment point of each set of B-1 pylon attachments. This prevented installing B-1 Air Launched Cruise Missile pylons.

During the second step two nuclear armament-unique cable connectors in each of the B-1 weapons bays were removed. This prevented the pre-arm signal from reaching the weapons.

The B-1B holds almost 50 world records for speed, payload, range, and time of climb in its class. The National Aeronautic Association recognized the B-1B for completing one of the 10 most memorable record flights for 1994. The most recent records were made official in 2004.

The B-1B was first used in combat in support of operations against Iraq during Operation Desert Fox in December 1998. In 1999, six B-1s were used in Operation Allied Force, delivering more than 20 percent of the total ordnance while flying less than 2 percent of the combat sorties.

During the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom, eight B-1s dropped nearly 40 percent of the total tonnage delivered by coalition air forces. This included nearly 3,900 JDAMs, or 67 percent of the total. In Operation Iraqi Freedom, the aircraft flew less than 1 percent of the combat missions while delivering 43 percent of the JDAMs used. The B-1 continues to be deployed today, flying missions daily in support of continuing operations.

General Characteristics
Primary Function: Long-range, multi-role, heavy bomber
Contractor: Boeing, North America (formerly Rockwell International, North American Aircraft); Offensive avionics, Boeing Military Airplane; Defensive Avionics, EDO Corporation
Power plant: Four General Electric F101-GE-102 turbofan engine with afterburner
Thrust: 30,000-plus pounds with afterburner, per engine
Wingspan: 137 feet (41.8 meters) extended forward, 79 feet (24.1 meters) swept aft
Length: 146 feet (44.5 meters)
Height: 34 feet (10.4 meters)
Weight: approximately 190,000 pounds (86,183 kilograms)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 477,000 pounds (216,634 kilograms)
Fuel Capacity: 265,274 pounds (120,326 kilograms)
Payload: 75,000 pounds (34,019 kilograms)
Speed: 900-plus mph (Mach 1.2 at sea level)
Range: Intercontinental
Ceiling: More than 30,000 feet (9,144 meters)
Armament: 84 500-pound Mk-82 or 24 2,000-pound  Mk-84 general purpose bombs; up to 84 500-pound Mk-62 or 8 2,000-pound Mk-65 Quick Strike naval mines; 30 cluster munitions (CBU-87, -89, -97) or 30 Wind-Corrected Munitions Dispensers (CBU-103, -104, -105); up to 24 2,000-pound GBU-31 or 15 500-pound GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions; up to 24 AGM-158A Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles; 15 GBU-54 Laser Joint Direct Attack Munitions
Crew: Four (aircraft commander, copilot, and two combat systems officers)
Unit Cost: $317 million
Initial operating capability:  October 1986
Inventory: Active force, 62 (test, 2); ANG, 0; Reserve, 0

(Current as of September 2016)

 

Point of Contact

Air Force Global Strike Command, Public Affairs Office; 245 Davis Avenue East, Suite 198; Barksdale AFB, LA 71110; DSN 781-1305 or 318-456-1305; e-mail: afgsc.paworkflow@us.af.mil 

Engage

Twitter
Two Air Traffic Control Airmen discuss their experiences while deployed at Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base. @USAFCENT 📹 U… https://t.co/1HtRN8Et93
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: Reserve Citizen Airman takes the fight to #COVID19 - https://t.co/IM7WSbM0Bz (Story by the @307BombWing) #ReserveReady #Re
Twitter
Airmen assigned to the 62nd Airlift Wing @JBLM_PAO participate during a #JointForce exercise that also included a s… https://t.co/lWfcCDtlPV
Twitter
.@WeaponsSchool trains tactical experts and leaders to control and exploit air, space and cyber on behalf of the… https://t.co/Qy4RBNWGbe
Twitter
HVAC Airmen from the 355th Civil Engineer Squadron @DMAFB work year round to ensure DM Airmen are working at optima… https://t.co/SH4KBhqknQ
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: .@NCAirGuard Airman 1st Class Collins Ampong and @NCNationalGuard Spc. Flack work together to sort and process medical eq…
Twitter
Kymeta Government Solutions has developed a flat panel, electronically steered antenna w/no moving parts providing… https://t.co/Se2rd4X0d8
Twitter
The 31st Fighter Wing conducted the first Elephant Walk in Aviano Air Base history consisting of 31 F-16s, 2 HH-60… https://t.co/gSU2kCX9R7
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Into the Wild Blue Yonder✈️ 146th Maintenance Group Airmen & 115th Airlift Squadron aircrew collaborated to accomplish l…
Twitter
Staff Sgt. Damion Carbajal provides an inside look at the training and day-to-day life of a Flight Engineer. 📹 Vid… https://t.co/JKsDRlCT8B
Twitter
A 301st Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter flies over a beach shore as a storm begins to form over… https://t.co/z6Pix9XZok
Twitter
The Airmen @DMAFB train w/ @USMC to enhance their #JointForce readiness capabilities, day & night. 📹 U.S. Air For… https://t.co/KHbrH1vSu7
Twitter
The Dental clinic at Ellsworth AFB teamed up with the Maintenance Group to come up with innovative solutions to imp… https://t.co/NXB4G29Kns
Twitter
RT @Join_AFReserve: The start of a new era! https://t.co/mZjL4egK2u … The first KC-46A Pegasus, the new #aircraft replacing the KC-135 St…
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Firefighters with @usairforce 307th Civil Engineer Squadron extinguish a fire during training at Barksdale Air Force Bas…
Twitter
Welcome home! The 71st Rescue Squadron returned from their deployment, to reuniting with friends and family at Mood… https://t.co/wsHquOQ2HO
Twitter
An Airman stationed @LukeAFB checks in & welcomes a new Airman to the base. This is a standard procedure in the mil… https://t.co/Yb4zAxFdgF
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: 446th medical professionals return home from #COVID19 relief efforts in #NYC - https://t.co/AEt1x7oJCB (Story by the @446A
Twitter
Amn 1st Class Jennifer Hutz, Ellsworth AFB Emergency Actions Controller, calls Philadelphia, Pennsylvania home. 📹… https://t.co/pBfuS5IL2s
Twitter
RT @Creech_AFB: It’s been an honor to welcome @GenDaveGoldfein back to the Home of the Hunters! Stay tuned for more & the words he imparte…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,242,227
Follow Us