The B-1b Lancer bomber was first developed in the late 60's to replace the B-52. It was originall intended to be a mach 2 aircraft, but the program to develop the B-1 was cancelled in June 1977 by President Carter. Then in 1981 President Reagan reactivated the program. The result was the B-1b. A less complicated, yet slower, plane. The plane first saw action in the Gulf War with great success.
The B-1b is unique because this plane is not a true stealth aircraft from the definition of scattering radar waves, but it is stealthy, due to its thin cross section and use of composite materials.
The B-1b is a blended wing and body design with "swing wings", that can be placed in two diffent positions. Forward for take offs and low speeds, and swept for high speed flight. It also has the latest technology in radar and communications which allows this heavy bomber to be very accurate. The USAF is also actively updating the B-1b when ever a system is updated. This is a highly maneuverable, fast and powerful bomber.
The B-1b carries a vast variety of precision and non-precision weapons in its three internal weapons bays. The non-precision weapons it can carry include 84 Mk-82 bombs or Mk-62 naval mines or 24 Mk 84 bombs or 30 CBU-87/89 cluster bombs or CBU-97 Sensor fused bombs. It can also carry precision weapons such as 24 GPS guided bombs. This gives the B-1b a great battlefield advantage and an ability to hit different kinds of targets.
|Function:||Long range, heavy, Bomber|
|Contractor:||Boeing (formerly Rockwell)|
|Power Plant:||4 F-101-GE-102 turbofan w/ab w/30,000 lbs thrust each|
|Weight:||190,000 (empty), 477,000 (max)|
|Wingspan:||137 ft. (forward), 79 ft (swept)|
|Armament:||precision or non-precision weapons (see avove)|
|ceiling:||more than 30,000 ft|
|Unit Cost:||more than $200 million each|
|Deployment Date:||June 1985|