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Rockwell International B-1 "Lancer"

Supersonic Strategic Bomber

Cold War Supersonic Penetrator.

At the height of the Cold War period, the United States Air Force invested heavily in a new supersonic strategic-level heavy bomber. The road to the B-1 'Lancer', begun during the 1960s, was a long, arduous, and expensive one, resulting in a bloated project that gestated for two decades before bearing fruit through 104 examples. Despite this, the B-1 has grown beyond its early shortcomings to become a highly effective supersonic 'swing-wing' penetrator at both low- and -high-altitudes. Today, the Lancer remains one of three strategic options alongside the B-52 'Stratofortress' and the B-2 'Spirit' and will remain so for the neat future thanks to modernization, excellent performance, and inherent firepower.
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Mission Roles

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Image from the U.S. DoD DIVDS imagery database; Public Release.
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Image from the U.S. DoD DIVDS imagery database; Public Release.
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Image from the U.S. DoD DIVDS imagery database; Public Release.


Quad-Engine Performance

The Lancer showcases four powerful General Electric F101-GE-102 series turbofans with afterburning capability. Coupled with the built-in 'swing-wing' system, this results in a high-performance aircraft capable of speeds reaching 830 miles-per-hour.

Four-Person Crew

The B-1B operates through a crew of four personnel made up of a pilot/commander, co-pilot, offensive systems officer, and a defensive systems officer. All crew are contained in the four-seat flight deck aft of the radar-housing nose of the aircraft and are afforded ejection seats.

1/3 of USAF Bomber Strength

Cold War-era origins have not diminished the inherent value of the B-1 Lancer for it remains an important cog in the U.S. war machine, accounting for 1/3 of strategic bombing power and capable of nuclear and conventional war loads over range.

Mission Flexibility

The Lancer bomber is given inherently long legs for a strong reach against far-off enemy targets. In addition to this, the design incorporates an in-flight refueling system that provides the bomber essentially unlimited operating ranges in any war.


Active, In-Service (38 yrs)
Boeing Company (current); Rockwell International / North American (former) - USA
104 Units
1 Total

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United States

(List includes former, current, and potential operating nations)
B-1B: 4 x General Electric F101-GE-102 afterburning turbofan engines developing 17,390lb dry thrust and 30,780lb of thrust with reheat.

(Assuming optimal flying/environmental conditions)
Maximum Speed
830 mph | 1,335 kph | 721 kts
Service Ceiling
59,055 ft | 18,000 m | 11.18 miles
Operational Range
3,446 miles | 5,545 km | 2,994 nm
5,678 ft/min | 1,731 m/min
(Showcased performance statistics pertain to the B-1B production model)
147.64 feet (45.00 meters)
137.80 feet (42.00 meters)
111.55 feet (34.00 meters)
(Showcased measurements pertain to the B-1B production model)
192,022 lb (87,100 kg)
477,003 lb (216,365 kg)
(Showcased weights pertain to the B-1B production model)
3 x Internal bomb bays supporting up to 75,000lb of drop / air-launched stores; 6 x External hardpoints carrying an additional 50,000lb of ordnance. Weapons include general purpose / conventional drop bombs, laser-guided / precision-guided bombs, cruise missiles, nuclear bombs (B61/B83), naval mines, cluster bombs, munitions dispensers, anti-ship / air-to-surface missiles, and Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW). Supported Types:

Air-to-Surface Missile graphic Air-to-Surface Missiles
Anti-Ship Missile graphic Anti-Ship Missiles
Cruise Missile graphic Cruise Missiles
Precision-Guided Bomb graphic Precision-Guided Bombs
Conventional Drop Bomb graphic Conventional Drop Bombs
Conventional Nuclear Bomb graphic Nuclear Weapons
B-1 'Lancer' - Base Series Designation.
B-1A - Initial operating model consisting of four prototype-level airframes; variable engine intake design; Mach 2.2 capable; not serially produced.
B-1B - Modernized/updated B-1 variant; stealth features; reduced maximum speed for low-level supersonic flight; 100 examples completed.
B-1R ('Regional') - Proposed B-1B upgrade; air-to-air missile support; PW F119 turbofan engines (4x); reduced range but maintaining Mach 2.2 capability; increased weapons load out; AESA radar installation.

Related to the B-1 "Lancer" ...

Entries with similar traits, features, or shared history to the Rockwell International B-1 "Lancer" .

Northrop Grumman
B-2 "Spirit"
Image of the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
B-52 "Stratofortress"
Image of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
Product List
Rockwell International
Rockwell International Company graphic

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