A B-1 Lancer performing a mock attack on a range in South Korea amid raising tensions with North Korea caused the China’s Air Defense to radio a warning message as the bomber flew close to the Chinese airspace.
During part of the sortie the American heavy bomber was escorted by two South Korea’s F-15K and two KF-16 fighter jets as shown in the photo posted above.
Noteworthy, along with sending a deterrence message to North Korea amid raising tensions caused by the latest ballistic missile launches, the B-1 bomber caused some concern to the Chinese military that tracked the American as it flew over the East China Sea in bound to the Korean peninsula: Fox News reported that the “Bone” bomber (as the B-1 is dubbed by its aircrews) was issued a radio warning on the Guard Channel (the international U/VHF emergency frequency) because it was flying inside Chinese airspace according to the Chinese.
However, U.S. officials who spoke to Fox News said that the bomber was flying in international airspace 70 miles southwest of the South Korean island of Jeju.
Bizarre Video Continues North Korean Saber Rattling, Appears Comical.
In the strange style of propaganda videos released by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a new clip posted to YouTube ahead of the latest North Korea missile launch test that apparently ended in failure, depicts a missile attack by the North Korean military on the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). It also shows the destruction of a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber. Finally the video seems to suggest mass destruction of U.S installations in South Korea and the Pacific.
Unusual and incongruent messages have been common from North Korea during the past several years with the threatening rhetoric escalating toward the United States since the U.S. Presidential election. This weird video is one more example of the saber rattling from the state-run media.
Translations from North Korean media contain excerpts that read, “We will strike with treasured sword of justice, North Korea ready for war with Trump!”
Along with this war of words North Korea has escalated testing of offensive weapons.
In late January U.S. spy satellites detected new activities at the Chamjin strategic missile manufacturing facility southwest of the capitol Pyongyang. On Mar. 6, North Korea fired four intermediate-range ballistic missiles which fell into waters off Japan.
Using the radio callsign “Tiger 41”, the two “Bones” (as the B-1 is nicknamed by its aircrews), belonging to the 28th BW (Bomb Wing) from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, can be clearly seen in the darkness of the night by the flames generated by the four General Electric F101-GE-102 turbofan engines with afterburner generating 30,000-plus pounds of thrust each.
A truly impressive (and noisy) sight!
Whilst the Ellsworth’s B-1s were taking part in Red Flag 17-1, several Lancers with the 7th BW from Dyess AFB, Texas, deployed to Andersen AFB in support of U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence (CBP) mission: noteworthy, these aircraft were the first B-1Bs upgraded to the Block 16 standard.
“The Block 16 makes the B-1 an all-round more capable aircraft,” said Capt. Matt*, 9th Bomb Squadron member in a recent release. “With the upgrades, we are able to have a say in the fight and increase the connectivity between aircraft on a built-in network, making the B-1 more lethal, more deadly.”
This enhanced capability not only aids the crew of the B-1, but allows other military assets to be better prepared against enemy threats.
A “Bone” deployed to Guam has taken part in Close Air Support training with Royal Australian Air Force near Australia for the first time in at least a decade.
On Oct. 25, a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer assigned to the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron and deployed to Guam from its homebase at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., conducted integration training with Royal Australian Air Force JTACs (joint terminal air controllers.)
Role of the JTACs, previously known as FACs (Forward Air Controllers), is to provide precision terminal attack guidance of CAS (close air support) assets from a forward position.
Indeed, their role is to act as a sort of “broker” between the commander of the troops on the ground and the pilot, working embedded on a patrol, in the vicinity of the enemy, in an armored vehicle, or from the Tactical Operations Center of a Forward Operating Base.
Through the ROVER (Remote Operations Video Enhanced Receiver) system made available by the pods carried by several aircraft (such as the Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared – ATFLIR – pod that the F-18s carry on the left side of the fuselage or the Sniper pod in case of the B-1), the JTACs are able to receive realtime footage from above on a portable terminal similar to a Playstation. Such live video streaming is used to determine whether the pilot is cueing the weapons to the correct ground target (and avoid friendly fire or collateral damage).
B-1s have already proved to be able to support ROVER Internet Protocol Network, or RIPN, project, in September 2013 when they were able to form a network through the Lancer’s Sniper pod to several ROVERs on the ground, effectively allowing them to pass digital close air support targeting coordinates or sensor points of interest to the B-1 crew.
According to the U.S. Air Force, this was the first time in at least 10 years that B-1s have conducted close air support training in the vicinity of Australia.
The B-1B is part of Pacific Air Force’s CBP (Continuous Bomber Presence) mission to Guam, where the aircraft, belonging to the 28th Bomb Wing deployed on Aug. 6, 2016 to replace the B-52 (and deter North Korea and China.)
CAS are among the most frequent missions flown by the “Bones” against ISIS during their 6-month deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve last year: when they returned stateside in January 2016, the B-1s had flown 490 sorties dropping 3,800 munitions on 3,700 targets.
A deafening late take off of a B-1B Lancer from RAF Fairford. Video is a bit shaky but cool.
The following clip was filmed a few weeks ago outside the perimeter fence at RAF Fairford, UK, where two B-1B “Bone” bombers belonging to the 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Base, Texas, were deployed.
The two Lancers along with a B-52 took part in Exercise Ample Strike 2016, a yearly Czech Republic-led exercise with 300 participants from 18 countries.
The video is not very good in quality, a bit shaky, but it gives a rough idea of what a (almost) head-on take-off of a B-1 looks like.
“The heat and exhaust flow blew me off my feet. Apparently developed a hydraulic fault on take-off so required more runway than usual for a safe lift off, hence why it is SO LOW,” says the author of the clip, Jonathan Grainge, in a comment to the video on Youtube.