Fri, Apr 13, 2012
Lancer Fleet To Receive New Ring Laser Gyro System
Boeing has received a $55.3 million production contract from the U.S. Air Force to upgrade the B-1 Lancer navigation system. The upgrade will replace the original navigation hardware with a new ring laser gyro system. "We are no longer using a spinning mass gyro," said Rick Greenwell, B-1 program director for Boeing. "The new inertial navigation system uses a ring laser gyro with no moving parts to wear out and repair. This upgrade will dramatically increase system reliability."
Under the three-and-a-half year contract, Boeing will deliver hardware modification kits and perform retrofits at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas, and Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, S.D. Initial aircraft modification is scheduled to begin in January 2013 and be completed by mid-2015.
Development program flight tests were completed on July 13, 2011. Boeing will begin purchasing upgrade kits immediately.
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. According to the Air Force, 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. (USAF Photo)
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