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Diane Publishing Books
B-1B Bomber and Options for Enhancements
Jeffrey A. Merkley (au); James L. Blum (pf)
The B-1B bomber has many special features that enhance its ability to penetrate Soviet air defenses. Even so, many reported deficiencies -- including shortcomings in the bomberís defensive and offensive avionics and a range that is shorter than anticipated -- have instilled doubts about its capability to perform the mission for which it was originally designed. This report raises three fundamental questions: (1) How serious are the deficiencies? (2) Should the U.S. change current plans and use the B-1B bomber as a standoff bomber carrying cruise missiles rather than as a penetrating bomber? (3) What enhancements should the Congress fund to improve the B-1B as either a penetrating bomber or as a standoff bomber? Illustrations.
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