10 B1s operational?

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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Unread post10 Jun 2019, 05:49

Just saw an article in popular mechanics that clained that there were only 10 operational B1s available at this time. (Didn't link it because it had little info).

Wondered if anybody hear has info on this.



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Unread post10 Jun 2019, 20:35

Be happy.
Germany needs 120+ Tiffy's to get 4 of them combat ready. :bang:
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Unread post10 Jun 2019, 22:32

The state of the U.S. Air Force’s B-1B Lancer fleet is bad — really bad — and lawmakers on the House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee want the service to come up with a plan to fix the problem.

The United States’ long-range strike capabilities “may be placed at increased risk by aging structural problems with the B-1," according to the panel’s markup of HR 2500, the House’s version of the fiscal 2020 defense policy bill, released Monday. The Lancer isn’t getting the resources and attention necessary to improve its mission-capable rates.

The situation has gotten so bad, according to the subcommittee, that the number of B-1 aircraft that are fully mission-capable is now only in the single digits. What’s more, B-1 aircrew are being rerouted from flying the bomber to other aircraft, because there aren’t enough Lancers for their necessary training.

First B-1Bs resume flying after nearly month-long grounding
First B-1Bs resume flying after nearly month-long grounding
It was the second time in a year that the Lancer has been grounded over an ejection seat issue.

By: Stephen Losey
The proposed authorization bill would require the Air Force to brief the House Armed Services Committee by March 1, 2020, on its plan to improve B-1 readiness. That plan should address: how the Air Force expects to fix the bomber’s structural issues; its plans to continue analyzing and testing structural deficiency data; repair timelines, and strategies to mitigate these problems in the future.

The subcommittee also wants the Air Force to produce a training plan for pilots and maintainers, and a recovery timeline to meet the B-1′s future deployment requirements. The subcommittee’s requirements must still be approved by the full House and Senate.

In a June 5 statement, Air Force Global Strike Command said that it is currently conducting an extensive engineering review of the Lancer fleet, which will help it determine what workloads and timelines are needed to get back to full capacity.

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Global Strike Command also confirmed that the recent stand-down of B-1s, and required maintenance, reduced the number of available bombers to the point where they have not been able to keep all aircrews current.

“In order to preserve the readiness of our aircrews, we are planning to transition certain members to other aircraft and assignments until the B-1B capacity is restored,” Global Strike spokesman Capt. Earon Brown said.

The B-1 fleet has been grounded twice in the past year over concerns with its ejection seats. In late March, Global Strike Command grounded the bombers for nearly a month due to problems with its drogue chute system, which corrects the seat’s angle to allow an airman to safely eject from the bomber.

In May 2018, a B-1B from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas was forced to conduct an emergency landing at a Texas airport when a fire broke out in its wing at the end of a training run. The crew blew the ejection hatch to try to bail out, but an armed but malfunctioning ejection seat refused to eject. The crew stuck together and safely landed the plane together, rather than abandon the airman with the malfunctioning seat. That emergency landing led to a fleet-wide grounding last June.

The Air Force has 62 B-1 bombers. In fiscal 2017, the most recent year for which aircraft readiness data is available, the Air Force said that the Lancer’s mission-capable rate was 52.8 percent, meaning about 32 or 33 bombers were ready to fly at any given time.

https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your ... heres-why/

also relevant
Last week, in its daily digest of defense contracts awarded, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that Boeing had won "a $14,314,300,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the modification, modernization, engineering, sustainment and test of the B-1/B-52 weapons systems."

Boeing was the logical contractor to tap for these upgrades, seeing as it, or its predecessor companies, built both the B-1 and the B-52. (The other strategic bomber that you've probably heard of, the B-2, was built by Northrop Grumman, as the new B-21 will be.)

Dubbed the "B-1/B-52 Flexible Acquisition and Sustainment contract," this contract will pay Boeing "for the upcoming modernization and sustainment efforts to increase lethality, enhance survivability, improve supportability, and increase responsiveness" of the Air Force's B-1 and B-52 strategic bomber fleets -- 133 bombers in total, according to the latest figures from Flightglobal's World Air Forces 2019 report.

Average it out, and the Air Force is paying a touch more than $107 million per plane just to upgrade each bomber -- or about what it would cost to build a new F-35 stealth fighter jet from the ground up!
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Unread post12 Jun 2019, 02:45

I saw a video that showed that airmen had to get a part for one of the jets, from a museum :doh:
Have F110, Block 70, will travel


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Unread post12 Jun 2019, 08:31

This appears to be a non-story. The B-1s were grounded which mean 0% readiness and there is a recovery plan in place from April 2019 to bring B-1s back online thru a thorough inspection of each B-1 before regaining flight status. Hence depending on when one looks at the B-1 readiness it will be from 0% upwards.

I note the change in COs too for both 28 & 7 bomb wings (Col David Doss, former vice CO 7 wing, on May 30 and Col Jose Sumangil, former 9 sqn CO, on June 17) with both former COs completing 2 years as CO. Also noted 7 bomb wing received outstanding unit award in 2018 for its actions in the previous year.

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