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US Air Force B-1B Lancers strategic bombers conduct mission in South China Sea


The 9th EBS Expeditionary Bomb Squadron with B-1B Lancer Supersonic strategic heavy bomber, and other units assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing of Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, are deployed to Guam as part of a Bomber Task Force to support Indo-Pacific Command.

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US Air Force B 1B Lancers strategic bombers conduct mission in South China Sea 925 001 A 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-1B Lancer flies through a cloud over Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, May 19, 2020. (Picture source US DoD)


The 9th Bomb Squadron is a squadron of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to the 7th Operations Group, Global Strike Command, stationed at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The squadron is equipped with the Rockwell B-1B Lancer bomber. The 9th Bomb Squadron maintains combat readiness to deliver rapid, decisive airpower on a large scale in support of conventional warfare taskings. Squadron experts provide warfighting commanders with the best in maintenance support, operational aircrews and Rockwell B-1B Lancer aircraft.

Nicknamed “The Bone,” the B-1B Lancer is a long-range, multi-mission, supersonic conventional bomber, which has served the United States Air Force since 1985. It was developed by American Company Rockwell International, now Boeing Defense And Space Group. The B-1A was initially developed in the 1970s as a replacement for the B-52. The B-1B is an improved variant of the initial B-1A initiated by the Reagan administration in 1981. Major changes included and additional structure to increase payload by 74,000 pounds (33,565 kg), 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 1.2.

Carrying the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the U.S. Air Force inventory, the multi-mission B-1 is the backbone of America's long-range bomber force. It can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time.

The B1-B Lancer has three internal weapon bays and six external hardpoints under the fuselage able to carrying AGM-86B air launch cruise missile (ALCM) and the AGM-69 short-range attack missile.

The B-1B's onboard self-protection electronic jamming equipment, radar warning receiver (ALQ-161) and expendable countermeasures (chaff and flare) system and a towed decoy system (ALE-50) complement its low-radar cross-section to form an integrated, robust defense system that supports penetration of hostile airspace. The ALQ-161 electronic countermeasures system detects and identifies the full spectrum of adversary threat emitters then applies the appropriate jamming technique either automatically or through operator inputs.

Current modifications build on this foundation. Radar sustainability and capability upgrades will provide a more reliable system and may be upgraded in the future to include an ultra high-resolution capability and automatic target recognition. The addition of Link-16 and FIDL combined with associated cockpit upgrades will provide the crew with a much more flexible, integrated cockpit, and will allow the B-1 to operate in the fast-paced integrated battlefield of the future. Several obsolete and hard to maintain electronic systems are also being replaced to improve aircraft reliability.


US Air Force B 1B Lancers strategic bombers conduct mission in South China Sea 925 002
The 28th Bomb Wing’s first B-1B Lancer upgraded with Sustainment Block-16 touches down at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 2, 2016. (Picture source U.S. Air Force)