The Boeing B-1 bomber has been the workhorse of the United States Air Force since it was first delivered in June 1985.
In honour of the elite bomber’s birthday, Boeing has announced a number of sweeping upgrades to turn the B-1 into a fully “integrated battle station.”
“We’re connecting the bombers to a global communications network that increases the situational awareness of the crew and allows for greater agility, like re-targeting weapons while in flight” said Dan Ruder, Boeing’s Advance Programs Lead, in a press release.
Take a look back at the history of the B-1.
Its wings can be pivoted forward and backward, depending on the requirements for a particular mission. Wide open wings allow the B-1 to fly high above radar for astonishingly long distances.
The B-1 led the fight in Operation Desert Storm and has been a powerful tool in many other Middle Eastern conflicts.
It can carry a massive payload of up to 75,000 pounds of missiles or bombs, including nuclear weapons ...
When not seeing combat, the B-1 is a popular plane for sporting events and other fly-over opportunities, thanks to its impressive size, speed, and sound.
It can be refueled mid-air, meaning it can fly indefinitely with no need to land to fill its 10,000-gallon fuel tanks.
The B-1 currently operates out of Dyess Air Force Base near Abilene, TX, and Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, and a few others.
An Air Force B-1 crew chief from the 405th Air Expeditionary Wing launches a B-1B bomber for a combat mission.
Fighter aircraft, led by a USAF B1-B tactical bomber, fly over the 4,500-year-old pyramids in Egypt.
Ground crews prepare B1 bombers of the U.S. 77th Bomber Squadron at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England.
At Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson, Arizona, hundreds of retired aircraft sit patiently, awaiting use as spare parts.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.