Boeing upgrades to keep B-1 Bomber soaring for decades
Abilene, Tx. - The Boeing B-1B Lancer celebrates its soon to be 30th anniversary with the U.S. Air Force at Dyess Air Force Base this week – marking one of many milestones in a legacy that will continue long into the future as Boeing’s B-1 team ushers the supersonic bomber into the digital age with new upgrades.
The latest upgrade, a trio of updates known as the integrated battle station, are ensuring the B-1 meets today’s mission requirements and further establishes a solid foundation for additional modernization in the decades to come.
“Boeing’s integrated battle station work improves the aircraft’s performance as a global strike platform,” said Dan Ruder, Boeing’s Advanced Programs Manager. “We’re installing all-digital cockpit displays and connecting the bombers to a global communications network, capabilities that allow for greater agility and situational awareness.”
“The adaptability of the jet has ensured its relevance – not only from the early 1990s to today, but from today well into the future,” said Col. Jason Combs, 7th Operations Group Commander at Dyess AFB, one of two bases that house the B-1 fleet.
The combat-proven bomber continues to stand out on current missions, recently deploying a record number of precision-guided bombs during a six-month deployment in the Middle East as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.
“I’ve never seen the jet as capable as it is today. When I first flew the B-1 in 1997, I recall debriefing using a handheld tape recorder, whereas today you go in the cockpit and have multiple screens with digital displays. It’s amazing how far the B-1 has come,” said Col. Combs.
First delivered on June 29, 1985, the U.S. Air Force B-1 fleet has continually evolved to meet the demands of a rapidly changing battlefield. It transitioned from fulfilling a nuclear mission to be a conventional bomber in the 1990s and then was modified to perform close air support missions in the past decade.
“Boeing’s role in maintaining the readiness of the nation’s bomber fleet is one we take seriously – our mission is to support the safety and effectiveness of our nation’s service members. We look forward to supporting the B-1’s mission for years to come,” said Rick Greenwell, Boeing’s B-1 Program Director.