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America’s Fastest Bomber: the Nuclear-Capable B-1 Lancer

Designed to scream over tree tops multiple times the speed of sound, to penetrate deep into the Soviet Union and deliver deadly Nuclear payloads, the B-1 Lancer, a longtime staple of the USAF bomber fleet, found its place in a modern world. Its unique combination of speed and payload keep it relevant in the ever-evolving aerial battlefield.

A B-1 bomber rumbles down the flightline at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., July 24, 2012 as part of a training mission. Each of the B-1’s four engines is capable of producing 30,000-plus pounds of thrust.

Long described as the backbone of the US Air Force…

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, sit on the flightline at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Nov. 27, 2017. Two B-1B bombers departed and transited the south Pacific to Australia where they conducted integrated bilateral training, maintaining contact with Australian Joint Terminal Attack Controllers on the ground over the northern coast of Australia. The integration of U.S. aerial platforms with its allied nations advances and strengthens long-standing military-to-military relationships in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Gerald R. Willis)

Long described as the backbone of the US Air Force, the B-1 Lancer fills an important role in the strategic air command strategy. Hit them fast and hard. While the Stealth Bomber can penetrate through radar defenses, the B-1 is able to travel at much greater speeds and can deliver a larger payload.

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber aircraft lands at Avalon Airport, Geelong, Australia, March 1, 2017. The B-1B is participating in the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition (AVALON), the largest, most comprehensive aerial event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. While at AVALON, the B-1B will be on static display for airshow participants. This is the first time B-1s have landed in Australia while deployed in support of U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence mission. The U.S. conducts CBP operations routinely by forward deploying bombers into the region as a deterrence capability supporting security and allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. Bombers and aircrew commonly participate in combined exercises and operations during CBP deployments. AVALON 2017 provided an ideal forum for the U.S. to showcase the B-1B’s capabilities to our allies, partners and citizens of the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. John Gordinier)

I Got A Fever…

… and the only Prescription is more cowbell — speed, I mean more speed. Even Christopher Walken would’ve had enough with the original B-1A. While the current version is considered to be a speed demon, it’s actually quite slow compared to the original.

A top speed of Mach 2.22 was reached by the second B-1A.

The initial version of the B-1 was designed to fly at much faster speeds. But performance and cost issues, as well as increased speeds of enemy fighters, shifted priorities to other areas. A top speed of Mach 2.22 was reached by the second B-1A. The B-1B was designed to fly around Mach 1.25.