Dwindling B-1 availability is raising alarm at the House Armed Services Committee, which is asking the Air Force to report back on several aspects of a readiness recovery plan for the conventionally armed bomber.
“The committee is concerned B-1 readiness does not have the priority and resources to improve B-1 mission-capable rates,” according to the HASC seapower and projection forces subcommittee’s version of the 2020 defense policy bill. “This is evidenced by fully mission-capable aircraft currently in single digits and aircrew being rerouted from flying the B-1 to other aircraft due to lack of B-1 aircraft for training.”
Lawmakers say America may be jeopardizing its ability to perform long-range precision strike because of the aging B-1’s structural problems. The bombers were grounded for nearly four weeks earlier this year because of drogue chute problems in the aircraft’s ejection seats. (end of excerpt)
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