The United States Air Force (USAF) has deployed an undisclosed number of supersonic B-1B Lancer heavy strategic bombers to Andersen Air Force Base on Guam in the western Pacific to replace the base’s fleet of B-52H long-range heavy bombers, U.S. Pacific Command announced on August 8.|
It is the first time in over a decade that the United States has dispatched its heaviest supersonic strategic bomber to the Asia-Pacific region. The USAF’s 62 B-1B Lancers are capable of carrying up to 75,000 pounds (34,000 kilograms) of weapons—the largest payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the USAF’s inventory.
|Though heavily armed, the bomber can reach a top speed of Mach 1.2 and can operate at altitudes above 30,000 feet (9,100 meters). The B-1B bombers will be permanently stationed on Guam as part of U.S. Pacific Command’s so-called Continuous Bomber Presence.|
On August 9, the USAF also dispatched three B-2 Spirits nuclear-capable stealth bombers to Guam.