Thursday, September 23rd, The Air Force sent the last 17 of the retired B-1 Lancers to the boneyard. The final planes flew out of Edwards Air Force Base, California, to the infamous Davis-Monthan Airforce Base, Arizona.
The B-1B fleet, established in the 1980s, played a vital role in the wars of the last two decades. However, these aircraft proved to be high-maintenance and weren’t reliable in availability.
When serving as head of Air Force Global Strike Command, retired General Timothy Ray told reporters the B-1 had been “overextended” in many deployments to the Middle East. After, General John Hyten told lawmakers that only six of the 62 B-1s were fully capable of deploying.
Instead of bringing those 17 B-1s, which would amount to $30 million for each plane, the Air Force rather focus on all remaining aircraft in the bomber fleet.
Additionally, retiring the 17 B-1s is a significant step towards developing the new B-21 Raider long-range striker bomber into service.
Overall, the Air Force plans to retire all B-1 and B-2 Spirit bombers by 2030. This effort would leave the bomber fleet primarily with B-21s and revamped B-52 Stratofortresses with improved engines.
The military will purchase at least 100 new B-21s, replacing its fleet of B-2s and B-1s. Officials have said they estimated the military needs 220 bombers – 75 B-52 Stratofortresses and 145 B-21 Raiders.
If you were wondering, the Air Force values the new B-21 at $639 million individually or $673 million today due to inflation. It is a fixed contract; therefore, if any overages, the cost falls onto the contractor, Northrop Grumman.
A Mission To Serve Our Heroes
If you or anyone you know served in the military, you may need help obtaining a fair disability rating and compensation. Contact Veteran Ratings. Veteran Ratings has a 95% chance of success in acquiring the rating and benefits you deserve.
Have a question? On the fence? Contact us for more information. We are here for you — we proudly serve those who served. Veterans are our only priority because they made this the land of the free through their bravery and sacrifice.