The Rockwell B-1 Lancer is a supersonic variable-sweep wing, heavy bomber used by the United States Air Force. It is commonly called the “Bone” (from “B-One”).It is one of three strategic bombers in the U.S. Air Force fleet as of 2021, the other two being the B-2 Spirit and the B-52 Stratofortress.
The B-1 was first envisioned in the 1960s as a platform that would combine the Mach 2 speed of the B-58 Hustler with the range and payload of the B-52, and was meant to ultimately replace both bombers. After a long series of studies, Rockwell International (now part of Boeing) won the design contest for what emerged as the B-1A. This version had a top speed of Mach 2.2 at high altitude and the capability of flying for long distances at Mach 0.85 at very low altitudes.
The second B-1B, “The Star of Abilene”, was the first B-1B delivered to SAC in June 1985. Initial operational capability was reached on 1 October 1986 and the B-1B was placed on nuclear alert status. The B-1 received the official name “Lancer” on 15 March 1990. However, the bomber has been commonly called the “Bone”; a nickname that appears to stem from an early newspaper article on the aircraft wherein its name was phonetically spelled out as “B-ONE” with the hyphen inadvertently omitted.
Hardpoints: 6 external hardpoints for of ordnance
with a capacity of 50,000 pounds (23,000 kg),with provisions to carry combinations of:
Bombs:Mk-82 air inflatable retarder (AIR) general purpose (GP) bombs
Mk-82 low drag general purpose (LDGP) bombs
Mk-62 Quickstrike sea mines
Mk-84 general-purpose bombs
An air force, also known in some countries as an aerospace force or air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military branch that primarily conducts aerial warfare.