Rockwell B-1 Lancer

B-1B-1BB-1B LancerB-1 bomberB-1 LancerRockwell B-1B LancerB-1B bomberB-1 bombersB-1AB-1A Lancer
The Rockwell B-1 Lancer is a supersonic variable-sweep wing, heavy bomber used by the United States Air Force.wikipedia
570 Related Articles

Air Combat Command

ACCAir Combat Command (ACC)AFCC
In the early 1990s, following the Gulf War and concurrent with the disestablishment of SAC and its reassignment to the newly formed Air Combat Command, the B-1B was converted to conventional bombing use.
In 2015, responsibility for the B-1 Lancer bomber fleet was also transferred from ACC to AFGSC, putting the entire Air Force bomber force under AFGSC, however some B-1Bs and B-52Hs remain under the 53d Wing for test and evaluation.

North American Aviation

North AmericanNA: North AmericanNAA
In December 1957, the USAF selected North American Aviation's B-70 Valkyrie for this role.
North American Aviation (NAA) was a major American aerospace manufacturer, responsible for a number of historic aircraft, including the T-6 Texan trainer, the P-51 Mustang fighter, the B-25 Mitchell bomber, the F-86 Sabre jet fighter, the X-15 rocket plane, and the XB-70, as well as Apollo command and service module, the second stage of the Saturn V rocket, the Space Shuttle orbiter and the B-1 Lancer.

Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider

B-21B-21 Raidernew strategic bomber
The B-1B is expected to continue to serve into the 2030s, with the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider to begin replacing the B-1B after 2025.
It is to complement existing Rockwell B-1 Lancer, Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, and Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bomber fleets in U.S. service and eventually replace these bombers.

General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark

F-111General Dynamics F-111F-111 Aardvark
The first of these designs to see operation was the supersonic F-111 fighter-bomber, which used variable-sweep wings for tactical missions.
The F-111 was replaced in USAF service by the F-15E Strike Eagle for medium-range precision strike missions, while the supersonic bomber role has been assumed by the B-1B Lancer.


AGM-86AGM-86BAGM-86 Air Launched Cruise Missile
The combination of the high cost of the aircraft, the introduction of the AGM-86 cruise missile that flew the same basic profile, and early work on the stealth bomber all significantly affected the need for the B-1.
The 86A model did not go into production; it was designed to fit the weapon bay of the B-1A, which was cancelled (to be later resurrected as the B-1B).

Escape crew capsule

escape capsulecrew escape capsuleaircraft crew-escape systems
Among these was the use of a crew escape capsule that ejected as a unit during emergencies, which was introduced to improve survivability in the case of an ejection at high speed.
Three of the four Rockwell B-1A prototypes also used cabin ejection. They had a single capsule "roughly the size of a mini-van" for all four crew members.

Rockwell International

RockwellNorth American RockwellMGD Graphic Systems
After a long series of studies, Rockwell International (now part of Boeing) won the design contest for what emerged as the B-1A.
The various Rockwell companies list a large number of firsts in their histories, including the World War II-era P-51 Mustang fighter and the B-25 Mitchell bomber, and the Korean War-era F-86 Sabre fighter jet, as well as the Apollo spacecraft, the B-1 Lancer bomber, the Space Shuttle orbiter, and most of the Navstar Global Positioning System satellites.

Strategic bomber

strategic bombersbomberstrategic
It is one of three strategic bombers in the U.S. Air Force fleet, the other two being the B-2 Spirit and the B-52 Stratofortress.
Newer strategic bombers such as the Rockwell International B-1B Lancer, the Tupolev Tu-160, and the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit designs incorporate various levels of stealth technology in an effort to avoid detection, especially by radar networks.

United States Air Force

Air ForceU.S. Air ForceUSAF
The Rockwell B-1 Lancer is a supersonic variable-sweep wing, heavy bomber used by the United States Air Force.
B-1B Lancer

Heavy bomber

heavy bombersBombardmentheavy
The Rockwell B-1 Lancer is a supersonic variable-sweep wing, heavy bomber used by the United States Air Force.
Despite these technological innovations and new capabilities of other contemporary military aircraft, large strategic bombers such as the B-1, B-52 and B-2 have been retained for the role of carpet bombing in several conflicts.

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit

B-2B-2 SpiritB-2 stealth bomber
It is one of three strategic bombers in the U.S. Air Force fleet, the other two being the B-2 Spirit and the B-52 Stratofortress.
Development started under the "Advanced Technology Bomber" (ATB) project during the Carter administration; its expected performance was one of his reasons for the cancellation of the supersonic B-1A bomber.

LGM-30 Minuteman

MinutemanMinuteman IIIMinuteman missile
However, the introduction of the SLBM made moot the mobility and survivability argument, and a newer generation of ICBMs, such as the Minuteman III, had the accuracy and speed needed to attack point targets.
The B-1 of the early 1970s eventually emerged with a price tag around $200 million (equivalent to $ million in ) while the Minuteman-IIIs built during the 1970s cost only $7 million ($ million in ).

Variable-sweep wing

swing-wingvariable fightervariable-geometry wing
The Rockwell B-1 Lancer is a supersonic variable-sweep wing, heavy bomber used by the United States Air Force.
Rockwell, meanwhile, adopted variable geometry for the Advanced Manned Strategic Bomber (AMSA) program that produced the B-1 Lancer bomber, intended to provide an optimum combination of high-speed cruising efficiency and fast, supersonic penetration speeds at extremely low level.

North American XB-70 Valkyrie

XB-70XB-70 ValkyrieB-70
In December 1957, the USAF selected North American Aviation's B-70 Valkyrie for this role.
The data from the XB-70 test flights and aerospace materials development were used in the later B-1 bomber program, the American supersonic transport (SST) program, and via espionage, the Soviet Union's Tupolev Tu-144 SST program.

Melvin Laird

Mel LairdMelvin R. LairdMelvin Robert Laird
Nixon's Secretary of Defense, Melvin Laird, reviewed the programs and decided to lower the numbers of FB-111s, since they lacked the desired range, and recommended that the AMSA design studies be accelerated.
One approach, which made it possible to proceed with such new strategic weapon systems as the B-1 bomber, the Trident nuclear submarine, and cruise missiles, was agreement to a substantial cut in conventional forces.

Penetrator (aircraft)

This led to a number of aircraft designs known as penetrators, which were tuned specifically for long-range low-altitude flight.
The classic penetrator design is the Rockwell B-1 Lancer, where the term was first widely used.

Strategic Air Command

SACStrategic Air Command (SAC)United States Air Force Strategic Air Command
The B-1B began deliveries in 1986 and formally entered service with Strategic Air Command (SAC) as a nuclear bomber in 1986.
By 1977, SAC had been pinning its hopes for a new manned strategic bomber in the form of the Rockwell B-1A Lancer.

Boeing B-52 Stratofortress

B-52B-52 StratofortressB-52 bomber
It is one of three strategic bombers in the U.S. Air Force fleet, the other two being the B-2 Spirit and the B-52 Stratofortress.
Superior performance at high subsonic speeds and relatively low operating costs have kept the B-52 in service despite the advent of later, more advanced aircraft, including the canceled Mach 3 B-70 Valkyrie, the variable-geometry B-1 Lancer, and the stealth B-2 Spirit.

Bob Dornan

Robert K. DornanRobert DornanB-1" Bob Dornan
Congressman Robert Dornan (R-CA) claimed, "They're breaking out the vodka and caviar in Moscow."
He was such an unswerving advocate for the development of the B-1 bomber, that he was soon nicknamed "B-1 Bob."

Nuclear triad

triadstrategic triadavailable
The USAF was adamant about retaining bombers as part of the nuclear triad concept that included bombers, ICBMs, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) in a combined package that complicated any potential defense.
B-1 Lancer bombers were phased out of the triad and reoriented for different missions in an effort to honor the delivery systems limitations set by the START Treaties.

Harold Brown (Secretary of Defense)

Harold BrownDefense Secretary Harold BrownSecretary Brown
During this time Carter's defense secretary, Harold Brown, announced the stealth bomber project, apparently implying that this was the reason for the B-1 cancellation.
Although he decided not to produce the B-1 bomber, he did recommend upgrading existing B-52s and equipping them with air-launched cruise missiles, and gave the go-ahead for development of a "stealth" technology, fostered by William J. Perry, under-secretary of defense for research and engineering, that would make it possible to produce planes (bombers as well as other aircraft) with very low radar profiles, presumably able to elude enemy defenses and deliver weapons on targets.

CFM International CFM56

The F101 engine was the basis for the core of the extremely popular CFM56 civil engine, which can be found on some versions of practically every small-to-medium-sized airliner.
GE was initially considering only contributing technology from its CF6 engine rather than its much more advanced F101 engine, developed for the B-1 Lancer supersonic bomber.

Ronald Reagan

ReaganPresident ReaganPresident Ronald Reagan
During the 1980 presidential campaign, Ronald Reagan campaigned heavily on the platform that Carter was weak on defense, citing the cancellation of the B-1 program as an example, a theme he continued using into the 1980s.
He ordered a massive buildup of the United States Armed Forces and implemented new policies that were directed towards the Soviet Union; he revived the B-1 Lancer program that had been canceled by the Carter administration, and he produced the MX missile.

General Electric F101

F101GE F101-102
The B-1A's engine was modified slightly to produce the GE F101-102 for the B-1B, with an emphasis on durability, and increased efficiency.
It powers the Rockwell B-1 Lancer strategic bomber fleet of the USAF.

Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman CorporationNorthropNorthrop Grumman Corp.
The Lancer's offensive avionics include the Westinghouse (now Northrop Grumman) AN/APQ-164 forward-looking offensive passive electronically scanned array radar set with electronic beam steering (and a fixed antenna pointed downward for reduced radar observability), synthetic aperture radar, ground moving target indication (GMTI), and terrain-following radar modes, Doppler navigation, radar altimeter, and an inertial navigation suite.
Tactical aircraft sensors include the AN/APG-68 radar, the AN/APG-80 AESA radar, and the AN/APG-83 AESA radar upgrade for the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the AN/APG-77 AESA radar for the F-22 Raptor, and the AN/APG-81 AESA radar for the F-35 Lightning II, and the AN/AAQ-37 electro-optical Distributed Aperture System (DAS) for the F-35, and the APQ-164 Passive Electronically Scanned Array (PESA) radar for the B-1 Lancer.