Humanities › Issues Facts About the B-1B Lancer Bomber Share Flipboard Email Print Rob Edgcumbe/Stocktrek Images / Getty Images Issues The U. S. Government Defense & Security History & Major Milestones U.S. Constitution & Bill of Rights U.S. Legal System U.S. Political System Income Tax & The IRS Consumer Awareness Campaigns & Elections Business & Finance U.S. Foreign Policy U.S. Liberal Politics U.S. Conservative Politics Women's Issues Civil Liberties The Middle East Terrorism Race Relations Immigration Crime & Punishment Animal Rights Canadian Government View More By Michael Bame Business Expert B.S., Accounting, Virginia Tech Michael Bame has over 25 years of experience writing contracting and business development proposals to secure projects from the US Department of Defense. our editorial process Michael Bame Updated May 29, 2019 01 of 08 B-1B Bomber Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force The B-1B Lancer Bomber is the U.S. Air Force's long-range intercontinental bomber capable of missions throughout the world with a minimum of refueling. 02 of 08 B-1B Lancer Bomber Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force This multi-mission aircraft can deliver weapons anywhere in the world thanks to its versatility. The B-1B's blended wing/body configuration, variable-geometry wings, and turbofan afterburning engines give it expert maneuverability and allow it to travel at extremely high speeds. The forward wings are used for landings, takeoffs, in-air refueling, and some weapons employment. The craft's aft wing sweep settings are designed for high subsonic and supersonic flight, which gives the B-1B Lancer capabilities in both low- and high-altitude settings. 03 of 08 More on the B-1B Bomber Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force The radar system in the B-1Bcan target, track and engage moving crafts, and self-target on land. The global positioning system Inertial Navigation System allows the aircraft to navigate areas without help from land-based stations and engage targets precisely. It has a fully integrated data link (FIDL) with Link-16 capability that gives it even better battlefield awareness as well as secure reach-back connectivity beyond the craft's line of sight. When it is in time-sensitive situations, the crew can leverage the use of data from the Combined Air Operations Center or other command and control assets to hit targets quickly and effectively. 04 of 08 B-1 Radar Capabilities Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force The radar warning receiver (ALQ-161) excels at detecting the full spectrum of threats from adversaries and can deploy jamming techniques. 05 of 08 B-1 Bomber Facts Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force As for more facts about the B-1 bomber, let's start with the B-1A. It was developed in the 1970s as the aircraft that would replace the B-52 bomber. Authorities were testing four prototypes but the program was canceled in 1977 before anything could go into production. Flight tests, however, continued into 1981. President Ronald Reagan's administration initiated the B-1B bombers. They changed it up from the B-1A by adding the payload and improving the radar. The first B-1 took off in 1984 and the first B-1B bomber was delivered in Texas in 1985. On May 2, 1988, the final B-1B was ready to go. 06 of 08 The B-1B Bomber Expands Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force During 1994, the U.S. stopped its nuclear mission for the B-1, but it was still a top choice for a nuclear armament bomber. In 2007, the conversion of it to a conventional aircraft only started. When it comes to speed, payload, range, and time of climb, the B-1 holds several records. In 1998, it was first used to support operations in Iraq. The next year, six B-1s were used in Operation Allied Force to deliver support. Throughout the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom, eight B-1s dropped nearly 40 percent of the total tonnage provided by coalition air forces. The B-1 continues to be deployed by the military today. 07 of 08 Nicknaming the B-1B Lancer Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force Fun fact: The B-1B Lancer is also known as "The Bone." 08 of 08 B-1B Bomber Facts Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force According to Boeing, here are more details on the B-1B Lancer: Function: Long-range, multi-role, heavy bomberPower plant: Four General Electric F101-GE-102 turbofan engine with afterburnerThrust: 30,000-plus pounds with afterburner, per engineWingspan:137 ft. extended forward, 79 ft. swept aftLength: 146 ft.Height: 34 ft.Weight: Approximately 190,000 lbs.