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August 2, 2016

US plans to replace B-52 Stratofortress bombers with B-1B Lancers

The US Air Force (USAF) is planning to replace its existing B-52 Stratofortress bombers with B-1B Lancers, in support of th US Pacific Command’s (PACOM) continuous bomber presence mission.

By Srivari Aishwarya

The US Air Force (USAF) is planning to replace its existing B-52 Stratofortress bombers with B-1B Lancers, in support of th US Pacific Command’s (PACOM) continuous bomber presence mission.

The B-1Bs are being deployed to Andersen Air Force Base (AFB), Guam, for the first time in ten years.

According to a USAF statement, bombers will be accompanied by approximately 300 airmen from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota.

This deployment demonstrates the continuing US commitment to stability and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The B-1B with a large capacity to carry both guided and unguided weapons and exceptional standoff strike capability will provide PACOM and its regional allies and partners with a strategic power projection platform.

This long-range, multi-role, heavy bomber is fitted with a synthetic aperture radar that can track, target and engage moving vehicles as well as self-targeting and terrain-following modes.

"This deployment demonstrates the continuing US commitment to stability and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region."

The four-engine bomber comes with a Global Positioning System-aided Inertial Navigation System that allows aircrews to navigate without the aid of ground-based navigation aids as well as engage targets with a high level of precision.

Its 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) complements its low-radar cross-section to form an integrated defence system that supports penetration of hostile airspace, USAF said in a statement.

The Air Force Global Strike Command continues to routinely deploy bombers to Andersen AFB, which allows airmen to advance and strengthen regional alliances and long-standing military-to-military partnerships throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific.


Image: The B-1B Lancer in flight. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force.

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