Development of the B-1 started in the 1960s, as a response to the Advanced Manned Stratigic Aircraft (AMSA) requirement. This became known as the B-1 in April 1969, with Requests for Proposals being issued in November 1969. Robert C. Seamans jr, Secretary of the USAF, announced on 5 June 1970 that the B-1 would be built by North American Rockwell, with the engine, designated F101-100, being built by General Electric.
The B-1A never entered service, and the project was terminated in 1977. But in 1981 the project was restarted and the B-1A was modified into the B-1B. The B-1 has flown missions over Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia. One of the B-1´s best traits is the ability to fly bombing raids at a very low altitude at speeds of 960 km/h. Because of Radar Absorbing Material the Radar Cross Section of the B-1 is only 1% of the RCS of similar planes like the B-52 Stratofortress.
- ↑ World Aircraft Information Files Aviation Partwork. Midsummer Books Ltd. File 243 Sheet 1 (World Military Aircraft:Rockwell B-1 - The early 'Bones')