Boeing is successfully progressing with delivering upgrades to the US Air Force’s (USAF) B-1B Lancer aircraft, transforming the supersonic bomber to better adapt to the digitised and changing battlespace.
Known as the integrated battle station (IBS), a trio of updates already enabled the B-1 to meet current mission requirements, which is set to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
The IBS kit is designed to improve situational awareness and communication capabilities of the aircrew, and their ability to engage enemy targets.
Boeing advanced programmes manager Dan Ruder said: "Boeing’s integrated battle station work improves the aircraft’s performance as a global strike platform.
"We’re installing all-digital cockpit displays and connecting the bombers to a global communications network, capabilities that allow for greater agility and situational awareness."
Launched in 1985, the USAF’s B-1 fleet has regularly received upgrades to meet the demands of a rapidly changing battlefield.
The supersonic bomber recently deployed a record number of precision-guided bombs during a six-month deployment as part of Operation Inherent Resolve in the Middle East.
Boeing B-1 programme director Rick Greenwell said: "Boeing’s role in maintaining the readiness of the nation’s bomber fleet is one we take seriously. Our mission is to support the safety and effectiveness of our nation’s service members."
Equipped with four 30,000lb thrust class F101-GE-102 turbofan engines, the B-1 Lancer is a long-range and supersonic variable-sweep wing bomber that can fly at a maximum speed of 1,448km/h.
Its service ceiling is 9,144m and the aircraft weighs 86,182kg and its maximum take-off weight is 216,363kg.
Image: The new upgrades will ensure the B-1 meets today’s mission requirements. Photo: courtesy of United States Air Force photo by Staff Sgt Bennie J Davis III.