Boeing B-1B Lancer

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Product Type:
Long-Range Multi-Role
Heavy Bomber

Using Service (US):
Air Force (USAF)

Program Status:
Sustainment. To be replaced by the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider.

Prime Contractor:
Rockwell Int'l (The Boeing Company)

The B-1B Lancer

About the B-1B Lancer:

By Forecast International /// The following is a snapshot of the B-1B program. For complete data and a forecast outlook, please view our Military Aircraft Forecast


The Boeing (Rockwell International) B-1B Lancer is a U.S. Air Force (USAF) swing-wing, supersonic, long-range, multi-mission conventional bomber. The aircraft is powered by four General Electric F101-GE-102 afterburning turbofan engines, each delivering 30,780 pounds of thrust.

Developed from the B-1A bomber, 100 B-1B Lancers were produced by Rockwell International from 1984 to 1988 to perform long-range nuclear bombing missions. In 1990s, the B-1B was transitioned to the conventional weapons mission it performs today. In combat, the B-1B has distinguished itself by employing large quantities of ordnance for relatively few sorties. In 2001, 32 aircraft were retired and, as of October 2020, 62 aircraft remain in the USAF inventory. In FY 2021, the Air Force retired 17 B-1Bs, bringing the total aircraft inventory to 45.

The B-1B is equipped with the Northrop Grumman AN/APQ-164 advanced phased array fire control, navigation and weapon targeting radar. The AN/APQ-164 provides the B-1B with a high resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) capable of tracking, targeting and engaging moving vehicles as well as self-targeting and terrain-following modes. In addition, an extremely accurate GPS-aided Inertial Navigation System (INS) enables aircrews to navigate without ground-based navigation aids as well as engage targets with a high level of precision. The Combat Track II radios provide a secure beyond line of sight reach back connectivity until Link-16 is integrated on the aircraft. In a time-sensitive targeting environment, the aircrew can use targeting data from the Combined Air Operations Center over Combat Track II to strike emerging targets rapidly and efficiently. This capability was effectively demonstrated during operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

The B-1B's onboard self-protection electronic jamming equipment, radar warning receiver, expendable countermeasures (chaff and flare) system, and a towed decoy system (AN/ALE-50) complements the aircraft's low-radar cross-section to form an integrated and robust defense system that supports penetration of enemy airspace. The AN/ALQ-161 electronic countermeasures system detects and identifies the full spectrum of enemy threat emitters and applies the appropriate jamming technique either automatically or through operator input.

The B-1 and B-2 bomber fleet will be replaced by the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider in the 2030-32 timeframe. The Air Force plans to procure at least 100 Raiders. The Air Force is, however, retaining the venerable B-52 due to its versatility, better maintenance record and its cruise-missile-launching capability.


The B-1B Lancer has three internal weapon bays that can carry 25,000 pounds of ordnance each. The B-1B Lancer carries a wide array of weaponry, including Mk 82 and Mk 84 General Purpose Bombs, Mk 62 and Mk 65 Quick Strike naval mines, CBU-87/89/97, and CBU-103/104/105 Wind Corrected Munitions Dispensers (WCMD). The B-1B also carries 2,000 pound GBU-31 and 500 pound GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), 500 pound GBU-54 Laser Joint Direct Attack Munitions (LJDAM), AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM), and AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapons (JSOW).


Carrying the heaviest weapons payload (75,000 pounds) of all aircraft in the Air Force inventory, the B-1B Lancer is the backbone of the U.S. long-range bomber force. It can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time.

FY 2021 & FY 2022 - B-1B DoD Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, a comprehensive analytical database containing historical and forecast budget figures, year-to-year funding comparisons, congressional budget markups, program justification documents, and much more.

Sources Used: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Forecast International,
The Boeing Company, and Northrop Grumman Corp.

Military Aircraft Forecast:

Complete and detailed information, including production forecast data, is provided in our Market Intelligence Service: Military Aircraft Forecast.

Forecast International Budget Data:

With Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, you not only get the latest program news, the DoD funding, worldwide inventories and planned quantities, long range forecasts, but most important – an expert's rationale for all programs and the overall market.

DoD Spending in FY 2018, FY 2019, FY 2020, FY 2021 and FY 2022 + 5-year forecast
Military Aircraft Forecast
Military Aircraft Forecast