The B-1 takes off from Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, where Air Force maintenance technicians installed the Boeing Integrated Battle Station upgrade. It was delivered to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas (Image © Boeing)

Is it news that you’ve got LCDs and a navkit?

The B-1 takes off from Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, where Air Force maintenance technicians installed the Boeing Integrated Battle Station upgrade. It was delivered to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas (Image © Boeing)
The B-1 takes off from Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, where Air Force maintenance technicians installed the Boeing Integrated Battle Station upgrade. It was delivered to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas (Image © Boeing)

Yes, it is if you’re a B-1!

Sometimes we at AIRheads↑Fly like to cherish the little things in life. Take the Rockwell B-1B Lancer bomber. And yes, there is something little to that big beast as well.

Because the US Air Force received its first B-1 with something totally new with a chique name: the Boeing Integrated Battle Station. Now that sounds like reason to dive for cover, doesn’t it? Confirmed by Boeing: “This BIBS essentially turns the B-1 into a new aircraft; it is the most extensive modification program in B-1 history.”

We already thought pretty high of “the Bone” – as the nickname goes – but instead of expecting shock and awe weaponry we got some fancy windows. The Boeing Integrated Battle Station means the fast interdictor is now equipped with what (almost) everybody has at home, in their cars and even inside the pockets of their jeans: full colour displays and moving maps!

“It will be giving crews greater situational awareness of what is happening in the battlespace around them, in addition to faster and more secure communication capabilities that improve crews’ ability to engage enemy targets”, writes Boeing.

And that – ladies and gentlemen – is still something to be counted in to report about. Making a very lethal and cool looking aircraft even more capable with a navkit and boxed-in liquid crystals behind a thin glass front is, no matter how small it seems, a big thing for the generals that want to wage war with it. Because honestly, when was the last time you’ve reached your destination most quick and sure with the paper map ‘plastered’ across your windshield.

© 2014 AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger

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B-1B Lancer
As much as it looks like a space ship on its way to warp speed, this is still a B-1B Lancer, better known as the Bone. (Image © Elmer van Hest)