What IS The Deductible On A B-1B?
An Air Force B-1B Lancer
was heavily damaged during a landing at a forward operating
location, in SW Asia, May 8. The aircraft, with its crew of four,
slid 7,500 feet before coming to rest on the runway with its
landing gear in the retracted position.
All four crewmembers exited the aircraft safely.
The B-1B was deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.
The B-1A was initially developed in the 1970s as a replacement
for the B-52. Four prototypes of this long-range, high speed (Mach
2.2) strategic bomber were developed and tested in the mid-1970s,
but the program was canceled in 1977 before going into production.
Flight testing continued through 1981.
The B-1B is an improved variant initiated by the Reagan
administration in 1981. Major changes included the addition of
additional structure to increase payload by 74,000 pounds, an
improved radar and reduction of the radar cross section by an order
of magnitude. The inlet was extensively modified as part of this
RCS reduction, necessitating a reduction in maximum speed to Mach
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.
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. Eight B-1s were deployed in support of
Operation Enduring Freedom.
B-1s dropped nearly 40 percent of the total tonnage during
the first six months of OEF. This included nearly 3,900 JDAMs, or
67 percent of the total. All of this was accomplished while
maintaining an impressive 79 percent mission capable rate.