The US Air Force (USAF) has deployed the first sustainment Block 16 upgraded B-1B Lancer bombers to Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
More than 300 airmen assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing, along with maintenance and support personnel, will conduct B-1 sorties to demonstrate the US commitment to continue stability and security in the region.
The Block 16 upgrade is said to increase the aircraft's situational awareness, according to a statement posted on the USAF website.
USAF 9th Bomb Squadron member captain Matt said: “The Block 16 makes the B-1 an all-round more capable aircraft.
“With the upgrades, we are able to have a say in the fight and increase the connectivity between aircraft on a built-in network, making the B-1 more lethal, more deadly.”
As part of the deployment, 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron will fly a variety of local training missions and power projection sorties.
A coalition training will also be conducted to enhance the warfighting ability in the US Pacific Command (PACOM) area of responsibility.
7th Operation Support Squadron member major Eric said: “Every deployment and mission is different.
“The importance of this mission, this deployment, is to project American airpower and work with our allies within PACOM. We’ll be training together and improving those relationships.”
The B-1 is a multi-role heavy bomber that can fly more than 900 miles per hour and carry more than 75,000 pounds of munitions.
Image: A B-1B Lancer takes off from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quay Drawdy.