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B-1B Lancer (Rockwell)

The B-1B lancer is a very impressive intercontinental long-range strategic bomber, developed by the American company Rockwell for the
United States Air Force. The B-1B is in service since 1986. The US Air Force has 67 of these bombers with 2 for tests. The crew consists of a pilot who is also aircraft commander, a co-pilot and 2 weapon system officers. The B-1B Lancer bombers are stationed on Dyess AFB and Ellsworth AFB.


Design organisation Rockwell
Main secundary design organisations GE
Production organisaton  
Primary task Precision and non-precision bombing
Type aircraft Supersonic long-range bomber
Specials Verstelbare vleugels
Length 44.5 meters
Height 10.4 meters
Wingspan 41.8 meters
Wing surface  
Aspect ratio  
Sweep back  
Engines 4x General Electric F-101-GE-102 turbofan with afterburner
Thrust > 30000 pounds with afterburner, each engine
Weight (empty) 86.183 kgs
Weight (start, maximum, MTOW) 216.634 kgs
Weight (landing, maximum, MLW)  
Required runway length (start)  
Required runway length (landing)  
Cruise speed  
Maximum speed Mach 1.2 (at Mean Sea Level)
Ceiling > 9144 meters
Maximum range  
Fuel capacity  
Air-to-air-refueling capability Ja
Passengers none
Payload none
Armament Possible combination of:

- 24x GBU-31 JDAM (both Mk-84 GP bombs and BLU-109 penetration bombs)
- 24x Mk-84 2000-pond General Purpose bombs
- 8 Mk-85 maritiime mines,
- 84 Mk-82 500-pound General Purpose bombs;
- 84 Mk-62 500-pound maritime mines
- 30 CBU-87, -89, -97 cluster munitions
- 30 CBU-103/104/105 WCMD
- 24 AGM-158 JASSM
- 12 AGM-154 JSOW
Maximum weapon load  
Maximum G resistance  
Avionics - Link 16
Type flight controls  
Landing gear  
Versions B-1B
Crew 4
Costs 283.1 million dollar (FY 98)
Overall flight hours  
First flight October 1984
First delivery June 1985
Operational since October 1986
Successor of B-1A
Replaced by n.a.
Comparable aircraft Tu-160
Operators (current and future) Only United States (65 where of 2 for tests)
Main operators United States Air Force
Operational usage Operation Desert Fox (Iraq), Operation Allied Force (Kosovo), Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq)
Crash 10 (1984, 1987, 2x 1988, 1992, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2008, 2013)
Amphibious usage No
Status In operational service


The project for the development of the B-1A to replace the B-52 Stratofortress started in 1970. Four prototypes have been made which could reach a high supersonic velocity of mach 2,2. The project stopped in 1977 but test flights remained until 1981.
In 1981 they started again with the development of the B-1 project. The B-1, which was now designated as B-1B has large changes where of an larger weapon load of 74000 pounds, a improved radar and a lower radar cross section by an order of magnitude. The air inlet ducts have also been modified, but the maximum speed as put down till approximately mach 1,2.
The first B-1B flew in october 1984 and was delivered to the US Air Force on Dyess AFB in June 1985. The last one was delivered on May 2, 1988. On october 1, 1986 the first B-1B Lancer became operational.


B-1 bombers were first used during Operation Desert Fox against Iraq in 1998. During Operation Allied Force in 1999, six B-1's dropped more than 20% of the total ordnance. Eight B-1's where used to support Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan to banish the Taliban. During OEF, they dropped almost 40% of the total bombs (more than 3900 JDAM precision guided bombs) during the first six months. The B-1 has also been used in the first phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

United States Air Force B-1B Lancer
WSO workstation Weapon bay SNIPER targeting pod
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Last updated: 16 May 2015