US to Prohibit Retiring B-1B Bombers Until Replaced With New Models, Reports Say

© US Air ForceTwo B-1B Lancers, assigned to the 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., conduct a flyover before landing at Andersen AFB, Guam, July 17, 2020. The Bomber Task Force is deployed to Andersen AFB in support of Pacific Air Forces’ training efforts with allies, partners and joint forces. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Christina Bennett)
Two B-1B Lancers, assigned to the 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., conduct a flyover before landing at Andersen AFB, Guam, July 17, 2020. The Bomber Task Force is deployed to Andersen AFB in support of Pacific Air Forces’ training efforts with allies, partners and joint forces. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Christina Bennett) - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.12.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United States will prohibit its Air Force from decommissioning strategic B-1B Lancer bombers until they are replaced by B-21 Raiders, the Defense News website reported, citing the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.
The US House of Representatives passed an updated version of the $768 billion defense spending bill for 2022 earlier in the week.
The prohibition will last until September 2023, with the exception for units that have started fielding the new bomber. Meanwhile, US defense company Northrop Grumman has already manufactured five B-21s, which will be commissioned in the mid-2020s.
According to the news outlet, 17 oldest Lancers have been retired due to their poor condition to allow more focused maintenance for the remaining 45 bombers.
The B-1B Lancer is a supersonic strategic bomber, considered to be the backbone of the US long-range bomber force, capable of rapidly delivering large quantities of precision-guided and other weapons against any adversary anywhere in the world and at any time.
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