Because of the B-1B bomber ejection seat, the US Air Force grounded all the B-1B bombers, and there was no exact timetable for the aircraft to resume. The decision to suspend the aircraft stems from a forced landing in May this year, and this incident has also raised concerns about the readiness of the US air force.
Cause of the event
The US Air Force Global Strike Command is responsible for overseeing all US long-range bombers. In May 1, 2018, the B-1B bomber of the seventh bombers of dis Air Force Base in the United States had an emergency in the flight and landed at Midland International Airport in Texas. An engine of the aircraft caught fire, causing the emergency hatch to fall off during flight. Neither of the 4 crew members was injured, nor did the aircraft carry any weapons. As of May 18th, the US Air Force refused to respond to whether the emergency hatch had been repaired and whether there was any problem with the ejection seat. In June 7th, the command formally called for the B-1B bomber to be grounded. In June 8th, the US Air Force Global Strike command issued a statement that once the problem was resolved, the B-1B bomber would return to the blue sky.
There was unconfirmed news that the commander of the aircraft's weapon system tried to ejection, causing an emergency hatch to fall off, but the aircraft's advanced conceptual ejection seat (ACES) failed to operate effectively. At the moment, it is not clear whether the order of using catapult will be issued. A-10, B2, F-15C/D, F-15E, F-16 and F-22 all have seats using United Technologies Company (UTC). There is no problem with -1 bomber catapult. The US Air Force refused to disclose any details of the incident. In May 21st, a statement was issued before the announcement of the suspension, but it only reiterated the information that had already been released, and stressed that the investigation will continue.
To make a sound
The grounding has a direct and huge impact on the US Air Force's combat mission and other operations. In April this year, more than 60 B-1B bombers landed at the base of Qatar, to replace the B-52 bomber. B-1B bombers regularly participate in military exercises and security cooperation activities worldwide, including in the British annual Baltic Sea operation (BALTOPS). In the exercise, the MK62 launched a rapid attack on mine, which is crucial for a certain area to be in a crisis to restrict the free action of the enemy Navy.
As the United States Air Force and other arms continue to face a series of aviation accidents, especially after the emergency in Dezhou, the U. S. Army's stop orders are also ensuing. At the same time, the crash rate has also risen sharply.
The air force said it has taken steps to investigate whether the air force is facing systemic problems. In June 6th, the security inspection of the whole army was completed. The reserve forces and the National Guard will also complete the inspection in June 25th. The results of the inspections will be assessed at all levels of the air force, including the United Nations, the main command and the air force headquarters.
The Ministry of defence and the armed services have repeatedly stressed that the increase of accident rate is not a widespread crisis, and each independent accident has its specific reasons. But there is ample evidence that the air force and other military forces have reduced the cost of combat and maintenance in order to cope with the budget cuts over the years. The air force is experiencing an unprecedented shortage of pilots and maintenance personnel. This has a negative impact on the military preparedness of the US forces. (authorship: Defense Science and technology important news / Li Xiang)
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