B-1B aircraft are continuously present in Asia-Pacific, representing the ability to deploy American power in a competitive relationship with China.
After the withdrawal of the B-52 from Guam and the termination of the ongoing muscle-carving presence (CBP) here on 17/4, the U.S. made many allies, partners in the Asia-Pacific, skeptical of the country’s commitment to the region. Shortly thereafter, at the beginning of May 5, the U.S. Air Force was 4 B-1B Lancer and 200 soldiers to Guam, in an effort to increase their presence in a new strategy.
The U.S. Air Force in the Pacific (PACAF) said the B-1B Squadron would carry out training duties and “strategic deterrence missions” in the Indo-Pacific. The plan was designed to move strategic leiots to various locations around the world, showing their “unpredictable behavior” in combat, causing the opponent to repeatedly conjecture where the U.S. forces are.
Not only does these flights extend dozens of hours to different regions, the B-1B aircraft are reconnecting training operations with high-precision long-range progressive weapons in Thai Binh, which is a considerable shift after many years of fleet flying Lancer to serve as close ground support in the Middle East.
“The amazing thing in the B-1B line is that they can carry a long-range anti-ship Missile (LRASM), the perfect weapon for the Pacific theater,” said General Jim Dawkins Jr., commanding the U.S. Air Force’s Global Assault Campaign Center (JGSOC).
“We not only re-adjust the proportion of ready-made aircraft and training activities, but also to change the implementation of the competition toward the competitiveness of National Defense Strategy (NDS),” said General Dawkins.
The rate of readiness for duty showing the number of aircraft that can be produced at each given time. The U.S. Air Force is seeking to improve this number, which is above 50%, after a series of B-1B loses its ability to continuously fight in the harsh desert environment.
The NDS documentary published by the US government in 2018 considers China to be “a strategic competitor specializing in the use of economic power to threaten its neighbors and military entities on the South China Sea”. Former air minister Heather Wilson claimed China had become “increasingly large threat to the U.S. Air Force in the region by rapid, modern speed.”
The Pentagon’s strategy is to deterrent opponents by preventing them from deploying military power. It was one of the reasons that the four B-1B had repeatedly taken off from Andersen’s base on Guam from 1/5 to the South China Sea and East coast.
“During a simulation attack, the crew will choose a target that assumes, plan and continuously fly in the area that could threaten that target without fear of retaliation. Long range missile launchers such as JACM-ER and LRASM require other skills far from the close-range ground support mission to be performed by the B-1B squadron over the years “, General Dawkins revealed.
The U.S. commanders did not announce the details of the rehearsalists of Lancer in the Pacific, but the squadron recently began carrying the JASHM stealth cruise missile, one of the current American long-range air-to-ground weaponry.
The AGM-158 JASHM is a long-range cruise missile developed by Lockheed Martin for the United States Air Force. The program started from 1995, but a series of problems during testing caused the missile to be broken down as “full of bugs” and the Pentagon nearly cancelled it. After the weapon was commissioned in 2009, Lockheed Martin handed over a total of 2,000 rounds to the USAF.
The weapon was first engaged in combat on 14/4/2018, when 19-to-five bulleters of the AGM-158B JASHM-ER were launched from the B-1B Lancer to target Syria. The JASHM-ER variant is applied with many stealth technologies, making it more difficult to detect and intercept. The shell had a range of over 900 km, compared to 370 km of the original AGM-158.
Meanwhile, AGM-158C LRASM is a anti-ship missile developed from the JEXM platform to create weapons to fill the empty seat of the AGM-84 Harpoon missile. Anti-ship weapons have been neglected by America after the end of the warHe was cold, but the rise of the Chinese navy made the Pentagon unable to sit still.
The LRASM missile is equipped with a multi-function radio probe and a Advanced data transmission (Datalink). After leaving the launch platform, it will receive target data from the warship or aircraft, and then continue to receive targeted updates over the satellite connection. The Pentagon said LRASM had a range of 370 km, while experts estimated that the number could reach 560 km.
Each B-1B is capable of carrying up to 57 tons of weapons, doubling B-52 or B-2 Spirit, allowing them to carry up to 24 JACM-ER or LRASM fruits on a mission.
The large area of the Pacific is very suitable for training missions using long-range missile lines, which are difficult to perform when B-1B rehearse in the U.S. coast. “In addition, we could also have a synergistic exercise with the regional allies, while the long-range and aerial oil training, General Dawkins said.
A B-1B last 4 months before performing a 30-month long flight from South Dakota to Japan and returning to the United States. The aircraft was joined and Reheartated by six U.S. F-16 fighters, and 15 F-2 and F-15 Japanese planes in the field near Misawa in the operation.
“B-1B Squadron could become the face of the U.S. Representative in the Pacific in the near future,” said General Dawkins, adding that the current missions will open the way for an effort to integrate the supersonic missile into the Lancer-line Arsenal.
The U.S. Air Force Global Offensive Command (AFGSC) last year introduced an upgrade package to the B-1B series, which allowed them to carry up to 40 missiles and bombs of all kinds, as well as weapons with masses of nearly 2.5 tons, including supersonic missiles.
AFGSC asserted that this solution is based on the design available of the B-1B series, does not require editing of the fuselage and guarantees to comply with the new START strategic weapon cuts.
“We were pursuing an out-of-the-shelf solution, which allowed each B-1B to carry six of the aircraft ‘ fast-track reactive weapons (ARRW), while the LRASM and JASHM-ER missiles still used the fuselage in the hull,” General Tim Ray, Commander AFGSC, Cho.
Vu Anh (According to Military Times)