The Unbelievable Power of The B-2 Stealth Bomber

   

The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber is One-Of-A-Kind: In late March 2022, a Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit bomber flew from Whiteman Air Force Base (AFB), Missouri, to Australia in a fifty-hour round-trip flight, during which the multirole bomber integrated with five different fighter aircraft from the United States Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force.

While in flight, the Spirit refueled from a KC-135 tanker from the Alaska Air National Guard and was escorted by American F-16Cs and Australian F-35s, EA-18 Growlers, and F/A-18F Super Hornets as part of the training operations. The B-2 Spirit from the 509th Bomb Wing became the first such bomber to land at Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley. While the B-2 bomber will eventually be surpassed by the B-21 Raider, here are all of the key facts you need to know about the ‘Spirit’.

The Spirit in the Sky

The B-2 Spirit first entered service in 1997, and it has been touted as having “more firepower than an aircraft carrier.” Development of the heavy strategic bomber began under the “Advanced Technology Bomber” (ATB) project during the Carter administration in the 1970s – and has been cited for one of the factors that lead President Jimmy Carter to cancel the B-1A bomber program.

The multi-role B-2 was designed to penetrate dense anti-aircraft defenses and to deploy both conventional and thermonuclear ωεɑρσռs, including up to 80,500-pound class Global Positioning System-guided bombs, or 16 2,400-pound B83 nuclear bombs. The B-2 is also the only acknowledged aircraft that can carry large air-to-surface standoff ωεɑρσռs in a stealth configuration. The bombers can carry up to sixteen B-61 or megaton-yield B-83 nuclear gravity bombs on the rotary launchers inside its two bomb bays. The aircraft’s avionics are also hardened versus the electromagnetic pulses generated by nuclear blasts.

Allied Force

The B-2 first saw operational use in March 1999 as part of Operation Allied Force, NATO’s aerial bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo ധąɾ. Two B-2s flew more than 31 hours from Whiteman AFB in Missouri to Kosovo. The B-2s attacked multiple targets and then flew directly back to Whiteman. Though the B-2s flew less than one percent of the total missions, the bombers destroyed thirty-three percent of the targets during the first eight weeks of the conflict.

Few Crew Comforts

The B-2 Spirit is actually quite lean on creature comforts for the crew. Even as some pilots have flown missions that can stretch on for 24-hours or longer, most of the time they’re stuck in their seats. The pilots have no bed, and there is no refrigerator – so pilots often bring foam coolers packed with whatever food they’d like to have for the trip. The only room to stretch out is a small area behind the cockpit which is the width of the seats. There is a very crude toilet, which is little more than a stainless-steel bowl, and it is positioned near a microwave oven.

Only Twenty Are in Service

Given the small number of B-2 Spirits that are currently in service, only one B-2 test article – built without engines or instruments for static testing – is now on display in a museum. Meant to resemble the Spirit of Ohio, it is now in the Cold ധąɾ Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio. B-2s in the sky are also a rare sight.

The Spirit makes only the occasional appearances at various air shows, but one did take part in a Super Bowl LV flyover in February – joined by a B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress. Otherwise, the best bet is to camp outside Whiteman AFB and hope to see one overhead.

Related Posts

The Unmatched Ground Stomp of the Champion

Th𝚎 A-26 Inv𝚊𝚍𝚎𝚛, which 𝚍𝚎𝚋𝚞t𝚎𝚍 in J𝚞l𝚢 1942, 𝚛𝚎𝚙l𝚊c𝚎𝚍 th𝚎 D𝚘𝚞𝚐l𝚊s A-20 һаⱱ𝚘с, 𝚊 𝚙l𝚊n𝚎 with simil𝚊𝚛 𝚛𝚘l𝚎s 𝚊n𝚍 𝚍𝚎si𝚐ns. Th𝚎 D𝚘𝚞𝚐l𝚊s A-26 Ь𝚘mЬ𝚎г, nickn𝚊m𝚎𝚍 th𝚎 B-26,…

Russia Delivers Modern Yak-130 Trainer Jets to Iran

The receпt arrival of Yak-130 “Mitteп” traiпer jets iп Iraп sigпals a growiпg military partпership betweeп Moscow aпd Tehraп, with arms trades playiпg a sigпificaпt role. Accordiпg…

Presenting the Dutch Military’s Most Recent Light Military Vehicle, the DMV4x4 AnacondaSOF DEF

In a remarkable move to expand the horizons of their Military Utility Vehicle (MUV) family, Dutch Military Vehicle has joined forces with IDV and DMV to unveil…

The first multi-story A-10 Thunderbolt II assault aircraft sets out for the Middle East, supporting F-15E and F-16 fighters.

Αt tһe end of Mагсһ, we wгote tһаt tһe UՏ Αіг Foгсe woᴜɩd ѕend Α-10 TһᴜndeгЬoɩt II аttасk аігсгаft to tһe Mіddɩe Eаѕt. Tһe fігѕt аігсгаft һаѕ аɩгeаdу аггіⱱed…

The MD-160 and Other Unreal Aircraft: Their Startling Reality

Amoпg the myriad of airplaпes that defy coпʋeпtioпal expectatioпs aпd seem almost sυrreal iп their desigп aпd capaƄilities, oпe aircraft staпds oυt as particυlarly remarkaƄle: the MD-160….

Attack helicopters present a dangerous threat that emphasizes the power seen in military conflicts.

Th𝚎 𝚙𝚛𝚎s𝚎nc𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚊tt𝚊ck h𝚎lic𝚘𝚙t𝚎𝚛s 𝚘n th𝚎 Ƅ𝚊ttl𝚎𝚏i𝚎l𝚍 s𝚎𝚛ʋ𝚎s 𝚊s 𝚊 𝚙𝚘w𝚎𝚛𝚏𝚞l t𝚎st𝚊m𝚎nt t𝚘 th𝚎 imm𝚎ns𝚎 mi𝚐ht 𝚎xhiƄit𝚎𝚍 in w𝚊𝚛𝚏𝚊𝚛𝚎. In th𝚎 c𝚘m𝚙l𝚎x 𝚊n𝚍 𝚎ʋ𝚎𝚛-𝚎ʋ𝚘lʋin𝚐 l𝚊n𝚍sc𝚊𝚙𝚎 𝚘𝚏…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *