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B-1B Lancer Is Just as Impressive Shooting Flares as It Is Dropping Bombs

Although most of us don’t get to remember it in action, the B-1B Lancer has a very extensive career to brag with. Introduced in the 1980s, it took part in most of America’s most recent wars.
B-1B Lancer shooting flares 16 photos
Photo: USAF/Master Sgt. Nicholas Priest
B-1B Lancer shooting flaresB-1B Lancers over the PacificB-1B Lancer being parked in GuamB-1B Lancers en route to Super Bowl LV flyoverB-1B Lancer landing at Naval Support Facility Diego GarciaB-1B Lancer over the Persian GulfB-1B Lancer taking off from UK baseB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B Lancer at Edwards Air Force Base
It was first deployed during Operation Desert Fox against Iraq, in the late 1990s, a massive bombing campaign that lasted for four days and was meant to eliminate military targets. During that same period, the plane was part of Operation Allied Force over Yugoslavia, where it dropped 20 percent of the total ordnance released on the country, despite flying less than two percent of the combat sorties.

During Operation Enduring Freedom, which saw America bomb Al-Qaeda targets in Afghanistan, the Lancer released 40 percent of the total bomb tonnage dropped by allied forces, while flying just one percent of combat missions.

It’s easy to understand how that was possible, given the thing’s bomb payload capability of 75,000 pounds (34,019 kg), and its intercontinental range. And, before the START treaties, it was even capable of carrying nuclear weapons, although, luckily, it never got to use those.

But the plane mostly likes to keep to itself, so during all those missions we didn’t get to see all that much of it in action, except perhaps for the snippets coming our way from all the war zones mentioned above.

So every time the U.S. Air Force (USAF) releases an image of the thing in action, we can’t stop from bringing it under the spotlight. Especially when the plane is pictured doing something else than serenely flying, something like shooting flares.

The Lancer we have here, deployed with the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, is seen doing exactly that, as it was taking part in a Bomber Task Force mission over the Pacific Ocean in late June. And it looks simply fierce, and a perfect fit in our Photo of the Day section.
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Editor's note: Gallery also shows other Lancers in action.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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