B-1B retirement begins as USAF prepares for the B-21

The US Air Force (USAF) has launched the retirement process for its famed Rockwell B-1B Lancer supersonic strategic bomber fleet, as the air arm prepares to induct the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider into service later this decade.

The process to divest an initial batch of 17 aircraft began on February 17, when the first B-1B – serial 85-0066 (c/n 26) – departed Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB) in South Dakota for the final time. Later that day, the aircraft arrived at Davis-Monthan AFB, where it will be stored with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group’s (AMARG’s) at the base’s famous boneyard.

B-1B Lancer [USAF]
Rockwell B-1B Lancer - serial 85-0066 (c/n 26) - was the first of 17 examples to be divested by the USAF under the FY21 NDAA. It is pictured here prior to departing Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota for the final time on February 17, 2021. ​​​​​The aircraft will be stored with the 309th AMARG at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona. Note that the aircraft was stripped of its 'EL' tail code and nose art prior to departure. USAF

Air Force

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