DR56264 Rockwell B-1B Lancer USAF 7th BW, Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003
|Rockwell B-1B Lancer||4.5"||4"|
Since 2003, the B-1B has helped deliver conventional bombs against targets in Iraq. A typical bomb load includes the GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), a weapon that was heavily used in Iraq. At the height of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a B-1 was permanently on station to provide a rapid precision bombardment capability. Today a total of 67 Lancers remain in service.This model features wings permanently positioned in the rear-swept position for high-speed flight.
Designed as a replacement for the B-52 Stratofortress, the B-1 Lancer was first flown on December 23, 1974 but did not enter service until 1986. First envisioned in the 1960s, this aircraft took two decades to begin its career. Its development was halted and restarted numerous times, and it was alternately praised for its potential and decried as gross misuse of taxpayer money. Today, the B-1 operates as a long-range, supersonic low-level penetrator. Its speed and survivability are superior to the B-52, and its high-speed strike and large payload capabilities give it a unique role in modern strategic bombing operations.