The U.S. Air Force’s B-1 bomber fleet marks its 30th anniversary with a celebration this weekend at Dyess AFB, Abilene, Texas. First rolled out in June 1985, the Boeing B-1 is a supersonic bomber that has long been the backbone of America’s bomber fleet because of its versatility in today’s battlespace. The B-1, with wings based at Ellsworth and Dyess AFB, performs missions in Syria and Iraq as part of Operation Inherent Resolve. Boeing also maintains the nation’s fleet of B-52 bombers .
The U.S. Air Force B-1 fleet has transitioned from being a strategic nuclear-deterrent to its current role as a conventional bomber, a change the USAF completed in 1990s. Between 2006 and 2008, as bombers increasingly performed close air support for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Boeing integrated the sniper targeting pod to the B-1, resulting in increased effectiveness and safety.
The nation’s 62 B-1 bombers will continue to have a major role in the defense of our nation for decades to come, as it continues to be modernized. Boeing’s latest upgrades include an “integrated battle station” that features fully digital cockpit displays. This upgrade also provides greater situational awareness, agility, and improved targeting capabilities.
Check out this video about maintaining the B-1 fleet for 30 years: