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.