Feb 24, 2014

US Air Force Begins Massive B-1B Overhaul

The Air Force is in the early phases of a multi-year technological overhaul and upgrade of its B1-B Lancer bomber fleet which will outfit all 62 aircraft with a wide-ranging suite of new displays, computer technology and avionics.
Called Integrated Battle Station (IBS), the upgrades consist of three separate efforts to install new displays, integrated data links and diagnostic technologies. The service began fielding the first production IBS aircraft in November of last year and plans to finish the entire fleet by 2019.
This modernization is the most significant upgrade to the B-1 since initial production. The upgrades are intended to preserve the service-life of the B-1 aircraft through 2040.
The B1-B has dropped weapons in a wide range of conflicts. After first serving in Operation Desert Fox over Iraq in 1998, the aircraft has performed missions in Operation Allied Force over Kosovo, served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and flown missions over Libya in 2011.
During the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom, eight B-1s dropped nearly 40-percent of the total tonnage delivered by coalition air forces. This included roughly 3,900 guided bombs or Joint Direct Attack Munitions, JDAMs.

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