Air Force B-1B Lancer bomberUS Air Force/ Senior Airman River Bruce

The Us air force has said it wants to start retire the B-1B Lancer bomber, a workhorse aircraft that has played a major role in counter-terrorism procedures in recent years. Despite those schemes, the service continues to put the bomber through its tempi, including several civilize runnings in late April and early May that took it to opposite points of the earth on short notice. Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more narratives.

If the Air Force gets its way, the B-1B Lancer will soon be on its way out of the fleet, but its potential departure doesn’t mean any less work for the bomber.

The B-1B was one of several aircraft the Air Force proposed divesting in its 2021 fund. The B-1B fleet would drop from 61 aircraft in 2020 to 44 in 2021, and the remainder would go out of service as the new B-2 1 bomber arrives starting in the mid-2 020 s.

The B-1B is considered the “backbone” bomber fleet, as it can fly the fastest, topping 900 mph, and has the largest payload, up to 75,000 pounds of guided and unguided weapons, though it is unable to carry nuclear weapons.

But the Lancer has birth much of the workload during the war on terror, an effort needed to keep it flying contributed the Us air force made a decision to retire some and allow maintainers to focus time and natural resources on the ones that exist in better shape.

Despite those issues, all the Air Force’s B-1Bs “are completely safe, ” Air force Global Strike Command, which oversees the bomber fleets, said in an email.

The list of B-1Bs being considered for retirement “has not been finalized, ” and the final roster will be “data drive and consists mainly of those aircraft that have the least remaining structural life, ” the command said.

The Air force is maintaining B-1B duel effectiveness “until key modernization milestones are achieved”; therefore, the command said, “outside of planned scheduled maintenance, all 17 aircraft will continue flying with the rest of the fleet.”

And that fleet remains busy. The Us air force promoted at least seven missions between late April and early May, photographs of which you can see below, that took the Lancer and airmen supporting it all over the world.

On April 22, a B-1B Lancer from the 37 th Bomb Squadron left Ellsworth Air force Base in South Dakota for the Indo-Pacific region, where it qualified with the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force. US Air force/ Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore

The operation was a demonstration of the Air Force’s dynamic army employment simulate, the service said.

It entailed a nearly 29 -hour round-trip flight and involved working with six US Air force F-1 6s, seven JASDF F-2s, and eight JASDF F-1 5s as one of the purposes of a joint US Indo-Pacific Command and US Strategic Command bomber task force mission.

On April 28 and April 29, B-1Bs from Ellsworth again demonstrated the Air Force’s dynamic power employment simulation in the Indo-Pacific, flying a 32 -hour round-trip sortie to conduct operations over the South China Sea. US Us air force/ Tech. Sgt. Jette Carr

The 32 -hour non-stop flight comes within the framework of a joint US Indo-Pacific Command and US Strategic Command bomber task force mission.

Such “missions are important because they allow us to demonstrate and showcase our nation’s dynamic force-out employment capabilities, ” Col. David Doss, 28 th Bomb Wing commander, said in a release.

The mission, Doss added, “demonstrate our commitment to our friends and collaborators, as well as appearance any potential adversary, that we can deliver overwhelming long-range global strike capabilities anytime, anywhere, regardless of whether we are at home or deployed abroad.”

On May 1, B-1Bs from the 28 th Bomb Wing, based at Ellsworth, flew over South Dakota cities to honor healthcare workers on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus. US Air Force/ Staff Sgt. Hailey Staker

The flyovers were part of the Air Force Salutes initiative and were allowed as part of an approved civilize mission.

“This is one way we can show our extreme appreciation and appreciation for all of the men and women in our region healthcare facilities who are working tirelessly to combat this virus and provide care for our families, friends and neighbors, ” Doss said.

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