Pre-Loaded Bombs Installed On B-1B Lancer Bomber For First Time In 30 Years



The Launcher Load Body sits outdoors of a B-1 B Lancer previous to loading at Dyess Air Pressure Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2023. (U.S. Air Pressure photograph by Senior Airman Josiah Brown)
(U.S. Air Pressure photograph by Senior Airman Josiah Brown)

Weapons Loaders at Dyess Air Pressure Base revived a functionality unused for 3 a long time.

The U.S. Air Pressure has not too long ago launched some attention-grabbing images displaying the exercise carried out a Dyess Air Pressure Base, Texas, earlier this month. In actual fact, on Jan. 9, 2023, personnel of the seventh Plane Upkeep Squadron used the Launcher Load Body (LLF) to pre-load a munition package deal that was then loaded on a B-1B Lancer.

The idea for pre-loading munitions has been round because the B-1 first entered service however has gone unused for 30 years till 7 AMXS resurrected the aptitude. Utilizing LLF, weapons loaders can pre-load munitions on a launcher, below the quilt of a facility, previous to transporting your complete launcher/munition package deal to the flight-line for loading on the plane.

A Launcher Load Body is raised right into a B-1B Lancer at Dyess Air Pressure Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2023. (U.S. Air Pressure photograph by Senior Airman Josiah Brown)

The images launched by the Air Pressure present the LLF full of 2,000 lb GBU-31 JDAMs (Joint Direct Assault Munitions) being loaded on the inner weapons bay of the BONE (the nickname of the B-1 – from “B-One”).

The aptitude was thought to be used with nuclear bombs, however the B-1 bomber’s mission was reviewed in 1994 and the kind transformed to conventional-only weapons with a bodily conversion that befell between 2007 and 2011, with the Strategic Arms Discount Treaty (START). However, the LLF will now be used to generate typical munitions packages out of the view of near-peer intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

A Launcher Load Body is ready for transport at Dyess Air Pressure Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2023. (U.S. Air Pressure photograph by Senior Airman Josiah Brown)

Using LLF is simply the final in a sequence of upgrades to the B-1 fleet geared toward making the Lancer extra succesful within the typical situation. Different upgrades introduced up to now are the inner bay capability enhance and the return of exterior hardpoints that had been deactivated following arms treaties with Russia. The exterior laborious factors had been initially thought for the B-1’s nuclear strike mission too, however they might be used to hold JASSMs (Joint Air-to-Floor Standoff Missiles) and, probably, hypersonic weapons externally.

The growth of the BONE’s capabilities proceeds regardless that the U.S. Air Pressure is making ready to switch the B-1 with the brand new B-21 Raider 6th generation stealth bomber. The divestment of 17 B-1B plane from a fleet of 62 Lancers has been accomplished in September 2021. In accordance with the Nationwide Protection Authorization Act, the 17 B-1B plane had been retired from a fleet of 62, leaving 45 within the lively stock.

In response to the Air Pressure World Strike Command, out of the 17 retired, one went to Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, as a prototype for structural restore actions; one went to Edwards AFB as a floor tester; and one went to Wichita, Kansas, to the Nationwide Institute for Aviation Analysis for digital mapping; and one went to Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, as a static show for the Barksdale World Energy Museum. The remaining 13 plane can be saved on the boneyard on the 309th Aerospace Upkeep and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB in Kind 4000 storage. 4 of these will stay in a reclaimable situation that’s in step with Kind 2000 recallable storage.

H/T to Ryan Chan for the heads-up!

David Cenciotti is a journalist based mostly in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and browse navy aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and lots of others, masking aviation, protection, conflict, trade, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with totally different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Pressure, a non-public pilot and a graduate in Pc Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.


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