Carrying the largest payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory, the multi-mission B-1 is the backbone of America's long-range bomber force.
The B-1 is cabable of carrying as many as eighty-four Mk-82 500-lb general purpose bombs, 30 CBU-87, 89, 97 cluster bombs, 24 GPS-aided JDAM weapons or 24 Mk-84 2,000-pound general purpose bombs amongst a myriad of others.
The B-1B's blended wing/body configuration, variable-geometry wings and afterburning engines, combine to provide intercontinental ranges (unrefueled), maneuverability and speeds in excess of mach 1.2.
Officially nicknamed as the "Lancer" by the Air Force, the B-1 is affectionately referred to as "The Bone" by the crews who fly it. The first aircraft was delivered to Dyess AFB in 1985 at a cost of $283 million dollars a piece (fiscal 98 dollars) and houses a crew of two pilots and two weapon system operators.
The B-1 saw it's first combat role against Iraq during Operation Desert Fox in December 1998. It quickly followed in 1999 during Operation Allied Force in the Balkans, delivering more than 20 percent of the total ordinance while flying less than 2 percent of the combat sorties. B-1s dropped nearly 40 percent of the total tonnage during the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom, including nearly 3,900 JDAMs, or 67 percent of the total. It continues to mount impressive achievements in both the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of conflict today.
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