To prepare for the arrival of the B-21 bomber, the US Air Force will decrease the operational capacities of its B-1B Lancer

We mentioned it last week: the USAF plans to reduce the size of certain fleets of old aircraft to allow funding for new aircraft. Among other equipment, 17 B-1B Lancer heavy bombers out of sixty still in service could be affected. The fate of these 17 aircraft is not yet sealed, in particular because the American Congress regularly tends to save the strategic vectors that the armed forces plan to retire early.

Even before the vote on the military budget of 2021, however, the US Air Force Global Strike Command in charge of operating heavy bombers took a series of directives aimed at drastically limiting the flight range of B-1B bombers in order to preserve their potential for as long as possible.

The B-1B's large armament compartments make it an excellent firing platform. In addition to its bombs, it can fire cruise missiles and anti-ship weapons. Until its operational withdrawal between 2035 and 2040, it could well be adapted to the carrying of hypersonic weapons.

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