It carries the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the US Air Force and is considered the backbone of America’s long-range bomber force, American officials said.
The arrival of the two jets, known as the most lethal in the world, came in the backdrop of the conflict in Ukraine and renewed resolve by India and the US to further consolidate their defence and security partnership.
Major General Julian C Cheater, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs, said, “The B-1 offers flexible options to senior leaders and combatant commanders. Greater integration with our allies and partners throughout the region is a positive step towards greater interoperability.”
An array of US aircraft already participating in Aero India 2023 showed the strength of the ties between the two countries, the officials said.
In addition to the B-1s, the US lineup at Aero India includes the US Air Force’s newest fifth-generation fighters — the stealthy, supersonic, multirole F-35A Lightning II and F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.
Throughout the week, an F-16 Fighting Falcon duo is conducting daily aerial demonstrations, showcasing the capability of one of the US Air Force’s lead fighter jets. The US Navy‘s F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet multirole fighters are on static display at Yelahanka Air Force Base.
The US companies which participated at the Aero India include Boeing, GE Aerospace, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc, Lockheed Martin, Pratt and Whitney, TW Metals, LLC, and United Performance Metals.