Robins team delivering on B1-B modification program

by Tara Buckley
Warner Robins Air Logistics Center Public Affairs

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. (AFNS) -- The air logistics center here has been right on target in a modification program which allows a new cluster bomb to be dropped from the B-1B bomber.

Since the modification for B-1B bomb modules began in February 1996, 36 of the units have been delivered on time and within budget constraints. The Warner Robins Air Logistics Center met the challenge of upgrading each module from the original configuration of 28 nonconventional 500-pound bombs per unit to 10 1,000-pound conventional cluster bombs per bomb rack.

The goal of completing 47 upgraded modules by September will be met, said Capt. Dan Chandler, B-1B weapon systems engineer in the Space and Special Systems Management Directorate.

Three prototypes went back to Rockwell for modifications, he added, bringing the total to 50 refitted bomb racks -- enough to equip half the B-1B fleet.

The new cluster bombs that will be stored in the modules are multipurpose weapons.

"Each one consists of smaller submunitions," Chandler said. "Some explode on impact, while others have a programmable delayed explosive feature."

"Rockwell built the modification kits, but we got the contract to install them," said Mervin Brantley, electronics equipment supervisor with the Technology and Industrial Support Directorate.

Other organizations involved in the upgrade program are the 116th Bomb Wing here; the B-1B System Program Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in conjunction with the B-1B System Support Management Division, Tinker AFB, Okla.; Air Combat Command headquarters; Boeing International, formerly Rockwell North American Aircraft Division; 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess AFB, Texas; 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth AFB, S.D.; McConnell AFB, Kan.; Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; and the Defense Logistics Agency.

The bomb module, which looks like a giant oil drum cut in half, must first have small sections of its shell removed by sheet metal specialists in the Technology and Industrial Support's Industrial Products Division Structural Repair Section. Then a team of electricians install the new wiring.

Several B-1B bombers are stationed here at Robins with the 116th BW. The rest of the aircraft are located at Ellsworth, Dyess, Mountain Home and McConnell.

Depot maintenance for the bomber is assigned to the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker.