[credit provider=”U.S. Air Force” url=”http://theaviationist.com/2012/06/03/b1-block16/”]
The Air Force’s B-1B “Lancer” multi-mission bomber is getting some notable upgrades in the next year, David Cenciotti at The Aviationist reports.Known as “Bone” in aviation circles, the B-1B is capable of accommodating the largest payloads in the U.S. Air Force inventory.
In June, Cenciotti reported that the B-1B will be “programmed for war” after receiving advanced hardware and software upgrades that will undergo operational testing in September 2013.
By then the B-1B will have the option of carrying up to 24 of the new AGM-158B Joint Air-Surface Stanfoff Extended Range (JASSM-ER)missiles – GPS-guided cruise missiles with 2,250-lbs warhead capable of reaching a target 600 miles away – that will be operational at the beginning of next year.
Cenciotti notes that the B-1 will be able to deploy these radar-evading, extremely jamming resistant missiles “against fortified, fixed and relocateable high-valuable targets, while remaining well clear of long-range surface-to-air missiles” that guard well-defended air spaces such as Syria and Iran.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article said that the B1-B could carry the 30,000 lb Massive Ordinance Penetrator (MOP) bunker-buster bomb. The Air Force told us that only the B-2 can carry the MOP.