In 2017, the United States’ ongoing efforts to dissuade North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un from continued pursuit of nuclear arms and advanced ballistic missile platforms expanded to include a massive show of force in the Pacific Ocean. Three Nimitz-class aircraft carriers and their accompanying strike groups met off the coast of the Korean peninsula, where they were soon joined by other military ships hailing from both South Korea and Japan, creating a massive flotilla of firepower that could put the entire military of many nations to shame.
Although the naval presence on the Korean coast was the largest in over a decade, the United States and its allies weren’t satisfied at that, supplementing the presence of their warships with airborne fighters and Mach speed-capable bombers.
The B-1B Lancer began its life as a nuclear-capable, fighter jet-like aircraft designed to infiltrate national defenses and deliver nuclear payloads deep inside enemy territory. However, an agreement with the Russian government eventually prompted the United States to convert the Lancer into a platform capable of carrying conventional warheads only. Its massive payload capacity of 75,000 pounds and top speed of mach 1.2 make it uniquely suited for precision strikes against potential military opponents like North Korea, as a result.
The United States conducted a number of mock bombing runs on sites near to the North Korean border using its fleet of B-1B Lancers that fly out of Guam. The bombers are often accompanied by a fighter jet escort comprised of aircraft hailing from the United States, South Korea and Japan. Just like their cooperative show of naval force in the Pacific, the bombing runs were intended to send a very clear message to Kim Jong Un: war with the United States and its allies would result in defeat.
It comes as little surprise, then, that the United States chose to launch just such a flight to coincide with its three-carrier show of force. In the incredible footage below, you can watch two B-1B Lancers, along with their fighter escort, fly overhead, as they pass over the formation of Navy ships conducting interoperability training.