This is the cockpit of the upgraded B-1B “Bone” bomber

Jan 25 2014 - 8 Comments

On Jan. 21, Dyess Air Force Base, in Texas, saw the arrival of the first operational B-1B Lancer with the Integrated Battle Station upgrade which gave the “Bone” new screens and updated avionics in both the cockpit and battle stations.

The IBS is a package of three different upgrades that, in the words of Brig. Gen. Glen VanHerck, 7th Bomb Wing commander, who spoke at the ceremony held on Jan. 24 to celebrate the arrival of the first “new” plane, “will take [the fleet] to the next generation of long-range strike capability.”

The upgrade is aimed at increasing the situational awareness of the pilots and includes a Fully Integrated Data Link (FIDL), a Vertical Situation Display Upgrade (VSDU), and a Central Integrated System  (CITS) upgrade.

Within the VSDU two unsupportable, monochrome pilot and co-pilot displays were replaced by four multifunctional color displays, that provide the pilots more situational awareness data, in a user-friendly format.

The FIDL is a modern data link that allows the B-1 to interconnect and communicate in real-time, with other planes, ground stations, allied units.

The CITS is an upgrade of the old LED display computers used by ground maintainers to identify and troubleshoot system failures.

“Integration into the data link environment and the increased maintainability, as well as the new computers and displays are capable of showing a better picture of the battlespace with more advanced graphics will enable the B-1 to be a force for decades to come,” said Maj. Michael Jungquist, 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron software Block 16 project officer for the Dyess Air Force Base press release.

The IBS upgraded B-1 bombers will not only be based at Dyess: Ellsworth AFB is also scheduled to receive the upgraded aircraft within the upgrade program, that will be completed by 2019.

B-1 battle station

Image credit: U.S. Air Force


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  • Paolo torchio

    Not the Dale Brown’s xB1 Excalibur but stile an amazing cockpit

  • eaadams

    It looks a lot like a millennium falcon

  • William_C1

    Impressive. Did they ever introduced that totally revamped ECM system?

  • rotor and wing

    I was stationed at Dyess AFB, in the 60’s and there is a milenium of difference between these bombers and the B-52, I crewed on- unbelievable!

    • tonye

      Heh… I actually did avionics for the first version of the B1B and also worked on FIDL/VSDU… to say the cockpits are different is really to understate it… The entire framework is eons ahead now.

      And I must say it was high time the B1B got updated, its original cockpit, state of the art back in ’81, just looks… so pre Internet.

      BTW- the B52 was also one of our partners for FIDL. It’s all about Link16.

    • I was stationed at Dyess in the 80’s through the turn of the century on the B-1B.

  • Flyingfish42

    It’s officially time to retire when your 1st aircraft get’s updated to the point you can’t go back and work on it anymore. :(

    • Nah, it’s just time to get the familiarization training so you can continue.