Video Analysis: B-1 to Retire as New B-21 Arrives

How long will the B-1 Bomber remain in service? Will it retire when the B-21 arrives?

By Kris Osborn - Warrior Maven

The Air Force is mapping a two-fold future path for its B-1 bomber which includes plans to upgrade the bomber while simultaneously preparing the aircraft for eventual retirement as the service's new stealth bomber arrives in coming years.

These two trajectories, which appear as somewhat of a paradox or contradiction, are actually interwoven efforts designed to both maximize the bombers firepower while easing an eventual transition to the emerging B-21 bomber, Air Force officials told Warrior Maven.

Once sufficient numbers of B-21 aircraft are operational, B-1s will be incrementally retired. No exact dates have been established, Maj. Emily Grabowski, Air Force spokeswoman, told Warrior Maven. The Air Force performs routine structural inspections, tests and necessary repairs to ensure the platform remains operationally viable until sufficient numbers of B-21s are operational.

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Kris Osborncan be reached atKrisosborn.ko@gmail.com

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