B-1B Lancer „BONE“ - surprise for the weekend

27. July 2017 4 Aktuality

Finally we´ve got a positive response from the USAF - the current American only supersonic strategic bomber  B-1B Lancer will be part of the group of three giant aircraft in the sky over Sliač at SIAF 2017.

The „Lancer“ with variable-sweep wing

Lancer - in the past a member of a regiment that used lances. The silhouette of B-1B speaks  for itself - especially when flying with the aft-swept wing settings which allow higher speed (M 0.92 at low level, M 1.25 at high altitude). That´s why the Lancer is the current American only supersonic strategic bomber.

Forward-swept wing settings are used for take off, landing or AAR maneuvers.

Also aiding the B-1's survivability is its relatively low radar cross-section (RCS). Although not technically a stealth aircraft, thanks to the aircraft's structure and use of radar-absorbent material its RCS is about 1/50th of the similar sized B-52's RCS.

Backbone of the United States Air Force

B1-B Lancer is one of three strategic bombers in the USAF fleet as of 2017, the other two being the B-2 Spirit "Stealth Bomber", and the B-52 Stratofortress.

The home unit for the B-1s will be the 345th Bomb Squadron, which is part of the 489th Bomb Group (also at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas) and the 307th Bomb Wing (at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana); and 28th Bomb Wing in South Dakota.

62 aircraft (out of 100 produced and delivered to USAF in 1985-1988) remain airworthy. Gradual modernization of Lancer should secure the aircraft for the operation with USAF until 2040.

Expensive and difficult to maintain

At the time of its introduction Lancer was a costly aircraft (more than 283 milion dollars as of 1998) with high maintenance requirements.

Originally designed strictly for nuclear war, the B-1's development as an effective conventional bomber was delayed - that was also the reason the aircraft was not engaged in the First Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991.

Thanks to CMUP - Conventional Mission Upgrade Programme, its unique endurance (12 hour missions) and a significant armament payload (up to 34 000 kg) - in the end, B-1B was used in combat and became an important player in support of operations in Afghanistan , Iraq and Syria (CAS missions).

Photo: wikipédia, http://www.barksdale.af.mil

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