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Air Force Concludes Flight Demos for B-1B Bomber’s External Missile Release Function

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B-1B Lancer
B-1B Lancer

The U.S. Air Force has demonstrated the B-1B Lancer supersonic aircraft’s release capacity for external weapons as part of an assessment that culminates a series of expanded weapons carriage tests that began last year.

The Air Force's 419th Flight Test Squadron saw the Boeing-built Lancer aircraft launch a Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile using an external pylon as part of the exercise that took place at Holloman AF Base in New Mexico last week, the service said Wednesday.

As part of the demonstration, the team equipped the heavy bomber with high-speed cameras to evaluate its release of the Lockheed Martin-manufactured JASSM weapon.

N. Keith Maynard, special instrumentation flight chief for the 812th Airborne Instrumentation Test Squadron, said the team reconfigured the camera system for the Lancer following similar operations for the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile.

Gen. Tim Ray, commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command, said expanding the B-1’s weapons capacity will also help the command provide more assets to geographic combatant commanders while deploying fewer aircraft and ensuring aircrew safety.

The most recent flight assessment for the aircraft’s modified carriage took place in November 2020. 

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