Boeing B-1B Lancer

Product Type:

Long-Range Multi-Role Heavy Bomber

Using Service (US):

Air Force (USAF)

Program Status:

No more new aircraft will be procured. Focus is on upgrades, modifications and sustainment.

Prime Contractor:

Rockwell Int'l (The Boeing Company)

Specifications Armament DoD Spending FY2015 Budget

The B-1B Lancer

About the B-1B Lancer:

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 2001, 32 aircraft were retired and, as of September 2013, 63 aircraft remain in the USAF inventory (66 in Sept. 2012). In combat, the B-1B has distinguished itself by employing large quantities of ordnance for relatively few sorties.

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 Air Force has launched a program called the Long Range Strike-Bomber (LRS-B) to develop the replacement platform for the B-1B and B-52H Stratofortress. The target is a production of 80-100 aircraft that are stealthy and capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Also, optional manning has been discussed. The per unit target price is $550 million. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the LRS-B is planned for the mid-2020s. Boeing and Lockheed Martin have teamed up and will compete against Northrop Grumman, which built the nation's B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.


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, CBU-103/104/105 Wind Corrected Munitions Dispensers (WCMD). The B-1B also carries 2,000 pound GBU-31 or 500 pound GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM), and AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapons (JSOW). For more details, see specifications below.


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 2014 DoD Program:

FY 2014 provides funds in the amount of $123.0 million for B-1B modifications, support equipment and spare parts. The primary B-1B modifications and upgrades in FY 15 are the Fully Integrated Data Link (FIDL), the CITS Upgrade, and the Vertical Situation Display Upgrade (VSDU).

FY 2015 DoD Program:

FY 2015 provides funds in the amount of $245.2 million for B-1B modifications, support equipment and spare parts. The primary B-1B modifications and upgrades in FY 15 are the Fully Integrated Data Link (FIDL), the CITS Upgrade, and the Vertical Situation Display Upgrade (VSDU).

The Fully Integrated Data Link (FIDL) is a net-centric warfare upgrade enabling full B-1B participation in joint combat and time-critical targeting operations. FIDL adds permanent line-of-sight and beyond line-of-sight command and control connectivity through addition of the Link 16 and Joint Range Extension (JRE) data link. This modification also upgrades rear cockpit crew station displays and adds an Ethernet infrastructure enabling rapid airborne re-targeting by high-speed transfer of aircraft information to all four crew stations and onboard weapons.

The Central Integrated Test System (CITS) is the B-1B on-board diagnostic system that monitors aircraft avionics and mechanical systems on the ground and during flight, reporting faults to aircrew and maintainers. The current CITS suffers from diminishing manufacturing source issues with the potential to ground aircraft. Current CITS processor is also at maximum memory/throughput, inhibiting fault detection and isolation for current systems and future B-1B upgrades. Modification funds will procure and install Group A and Group B kits for the CITS modernization upgrade to the B-1B. This modification provides a new CITS Dedicated Processor (CDP), upgraded Multi-Functional Display (MFD), and re-hosted CITS software, resulting in enhanced diagnostic capabilities, improved turnaround time, and reduced maintenance costs.

The Vertical Situation Display Upgrade (VSDU) is a safety-critical program to replace B-1B pilot and co-pilot primary flight displays and associated flight instruments. The current VSDs are monochrome cathode ray tube displays, which along with the "steam gauge" primary flight instruments, are experiencing Diminishing Manufacturing Sources (DMS) issues with the potential to ground aircraft. Spares are no longer procurable due to obsolescence. Modification funds will procure and install Group A and Group B kits for the VSDU upgrade to the B-1B. This modification installs two 8"x6" color displays at pilot and co-pilot stations. These displays also provide front crew situational awareness from the Fully Integrated Data Link (FIDL) enhancing the ability to avoid threats and strike emerging targets. VSDU installations are scheduled concurrently with Central Integrated Test System (CITS) and FIDL to reduce installation costs, aircraft downtime, and to keep fielded aircraft configurations to a minimum.

For more information about these and other B-1B modifications, click to see the Complete FY 2015 B-1B Budget.

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

Last Update: January 19, 2015.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// (

External Resources:

The Boeing Company: B-1B Lancer

Northrop Grumman: AN/APQ-164 Radar System

YouTube: Boeing B-1B Lancer | YouTube Videos

Fact Sheet: Boeing B-1B Lancer | Fact Sheet

B-1B U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on the B-1B Lancer in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
DoD Purchases of B-1B Lancer Aircraft in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
Defense Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2011/12/13 + Budget for FYs 2014 + 2015

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the B-1B Lancer

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

Modification of B-1B Aircraft (USAF) Spares and Repair Parts (USAF)

Aircraft Specifications: B-1B Lancer

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Primary Function: Long-range multi-role heavy bomber
Prime Contractor: The Boeing Co.
Power Plant: 4x General Electric F101-GE-102 afterburning turbofan engines
Thrust: 30,780 pounds with afterburner (each engine)
Wingspan: 137 ft (41.8 m) extended forward; 79 ft (24.1 m) swept aft
Length: 146 ft (44.5 m)
Height: 34 ft (10.4 m)
Weight (Empty): 190,000 lbs (86,183 kg)
Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW): 477,000 lbs (216,634 kg)
Fuel Capacity: 265,274 lbs (120,326 kg)
Payload: 75,000 lbs (34,020 kg)
Speed: 900+ mph (1,448+ km/h) - Mach 1.2 at sea level
Service Ceiling: 30,000+ ft (9,144+ m)
Range: 6,478 nm/7,455 miles (12,004 km)
Combat Radius: 2,993 nm/3,444 miles (5,546 km)
Crew: Four (aircraft commander, co-pilot, and two weapon systems officers)
Price/Unit Cost: $283.1 million (FY1998 constant dollars)
First Flight: December 23, 1974 (B-1A); October 18, 1984 (B-1B)
Deployed: June 1985; Initial Operational Capability (IOC): October 1, 1986
Inventory: Active: 63 (as of September 2013)

Armament/Weapons: Three internal weapons bays capable of accommodating up to 75,000 pounds (34,020 kg) of ordnance.
Many different combinations/mixes of ordnance are available.
These combinations can include up to:
84x Mk 82 500-pound General Purpose Bombs; or 24x Mk 84 2,000-pound General Purpose Bombs;
or 80x Mk 62 500-pound Quickstrike naval mines; or 8x Mk 65 2,000-pound Quickstrike naval mines;
or 30x CBU-87 1,000-pound Combined Effects Munition; or 30x CBU-89 GATOR Mine System;
or 30x CBU-97 1,000-pound Sensor Fuzed Weapon; or 30x CBU-103/104/105 Wind Corrected Munitions Dispensers (WCMD);
or 80x GBU-38 500-pound Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM); or 24x GBU-31 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM);
or 24x AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW); or 24x AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM).

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