B-1B is a multi-role, long-range bomber, capable of flying intercontinental missions
without refueling, then penetrating present and predicted sophisticated enemy
defenses. It can perform a variety of missions, including that of a conventional
weapons carrier for theater operations.
electronic jamming equipment, infrared countermeasures, radar location and warning
systems complement its low-radar cross-section and form an integrated defense
system for the aircraft.
The swing-wing design and turbofan engines not
only provide greater range and high speed at low levels but they also enhance
the bomber's survivability. Wing sweep at the full-forward position allows a short
takeoff roll and a fast base-escape profile for airfields under attack. Once airborne,
the wings are positioned for maximum cruise distance or high-speed penetration.
B-1B uses radar and inertial navigation equipment enabling aircrews to globally
navigate, update mission profiles and target coordinates in-flight, and precision
bomb without the need for ground based navigation aids.
Included in the
B-1B offensive avionics are modular electronics that allow maintenance personnel
to precisely identify technical difficulties and replace avionics components in
a fast, efficient manner on the ground.
The aircraft's AN/ALQ 161A defensive
avionics is a comprehensive electronic counter-measures package that detects and
counters enemy radar threats. It also has the capability to detect and counter
missiles attacking from the rear. It defends the aircraft by applying the appropriate
counter-measures, such as electronic jamming or dispensing expendable chaff and
flares. Similar to the offensive avionics, the defensive suite has a re-programmable
design that allows in-flight changes to be made to counter new or changing threats.
B-1B represents a major upgrade in U.S. long-range capabilities over the aging
B-52 -- the previous mainstay of the bomber fleet. Significant advantages include:
Low radar cross-section to make detection considerably more difficult.
Ability to fly lower and faster while carrying a larger payload.
electronic countermeasures to enhance survivability.
and upgrade modifications are ongoing or under study for the B-1B aircraft. A
large portion of these modifications which are designed to increase the combat
capability are known as the conventional mission upgrade program. This three phase
program will increase the lethality, survivability and supportabilty of the B-1B
fleet. Phase I of the program, scheduled for completion by the end of FY 96, will
add the capability to release cluster bomb unit weapons. Phases II and III will
further upgrade the B-1B capability, to include the ability to deliver joint direct
attack munitions ans standoff weapons.
B-1B was delivered to the Air Force at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, in June 1985,
with initial operational capability on Oct. 1, 1986. The final B-1B was delivered
May 2, 1988.
The B-1B holds several world records for speed, payload and
distance. The National Aeronautic Association recognized the B-1B for completing
one of the 10 most memorable record flights for 1994.
Function: Long-range, multi-role, heavy bomber
Builder: Rockwell International,
North American Aircraft
Operations Air Frame and Integration: Offensive
avionics, Boeing Military Airplane; defensive avionics, AIL Division
Plant: Four General Electric F-101-GE-102 turbofan engine with afterburner.
30,000-plus pounds (13,500-plus kilograms) with afterburner, per engine
146 feet (44.5 meters)
Wingspan: 137 feet (41.8 meters) extended forward,
79 feet (24.1 meters) swept aft.
Height: 34 feet (10.4 meters)
Empty, approximately 190,000 pounds (86,183 kilograms)
Maximum Takeoff Weight:
477,000 pounds (214,650 kilograms)
Speed: 900-plus mph (Mach 1.2 at sea
Range: Intercontinental, unrefueled
Ceiling: Over 30,000 feet
Crew: Four (aircraft commander, pilot, offensive systems
officer and defensive systems officer)
Armament: Up to 84 Mark 82 conventional
500-pound bombs and 30 CBU-87/89/97.
Also can be reconfigured to carry a
wide range of nuclear weapons
Date Deployed: June 1985
$200-plus million per aircraft
Inventory: Active force, 50 (PAA) 84 (actual);
ANG, 10 PAA (11 actual); Reserve , 0
Point of Contact
Command, Public Affairs Office; 115 Thompson St., Suite 211; Langley AFB, VA 23665-1987;
DSN 574-5014 or (804) 764-5014; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org