President Reagan announced the decision to include the B-1B Long Range Combat Aircraft in his defense package on October 2, 1981. At stake for Vought was a major subcontract whose value had not been announced, because contract negotiations were still in progress. A quantity of 100 bombers, instead of the rumored 50, was included in the President’s plans. At that time it was the largest subcontract in the company’s history.
After approval of that budget, Rockwell International Corporation received its initial funding for development of the B-1B/LRCA. Vought, a major subcontractor producing the aft fuselage section on the original B-1, was selected by Rockwell to build the aft section and aft intermediate section (the section directly in front of the aft section) of the fuselage for the new Strategic Air Command bomber. Together, the sections constitute the entire fuselage back of the wing except for the tail cone and empennage. The contract, when awarded, covered tooling and production of body sections for the aircraft. The two B-1B subsections measure a total of 60 feet in length and weigh more than 26,000 pounds. Built primarily of aluminum, steel and titanium, they consist of about 19,000 individual parts. The major components were assembled at the Jefferson Avenue and Marshall Drive facilities.
The B-1B is a multipurpose airplane equipped with a variable geometry or swing-wing. It can carry a variety of payloads and is capable of high subsonic speeds. It has the ability to operate at both high and low altitudes and can perform conventional or nuclear missions. It will carry advanced electronic countermeasures.
The aircraft has the General Electric F101-GE-102 turbofan engine, a derivative of the engine developed for the original B-1. The F101 is an advanced-concept, augmented turbofan in the 30,000 pounds thrust class.
For mor information on the B-1B, visit the following sites:
U. S. Air Force