The aircraft demonstrated performance that may serve as stepping stones to carrying hypersonic weapons in the future, U.S. Strategic Command said Tuesday.
“Adapting a small number of our healthiest B-1s to carry hypersonic weapons is vital to bridge between the bomber force we have today, to the force of tomorrow,” said Gen. Tim Ray, who leads Air Force Global Strike Command.
The flight demonstration followed multiple ground tests including one that featured a modified internal bomb bay. The U.S. Air Force will use the demonstration's input to determine B-1B's future technical and weapons integration requirements as a multi-mission aircraft.
"This is a major step forward in our global precision fires capability and it is important we pursue these technologies to remain ahead of our competitors. My goal is to have a limited number of B-1s modified to become the roving linebacker of the western Pacific and the North Atlantic," Ray added.