YouTube / The Daily Aviation
The US Air Force expects to have enough resources to keep the B-1B bomber afloat until the B-21 eventually arrives. In 2021, the USAF has already retired seventeen problem-prone Lancers in their inventory.
In recent years, the lack of spare parts and a long list of structural problems have driven the Lancers’ mission-capable numbers to as low as six planes.
Problematic areas of the Lancers are found on the trailing tabs, upper wing splice bolts and drain holes, cracks in the longerons, and rib cracks.
The work being done on the B-1 Lancer at Tinker Air Force Base intends to extend the Lancer’s operational service for twenty years. There, Lancers go through full structural repair work to fix the nagging problems of the bomber.
Its remaining 45 B-1s are scheduled to undergo these repairs at about nine per year, completing the work in five years.