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Strategic Bomber

B - 2 "Spirit"

 

Crew 2 + 1
Entered service in 1991
Dimensions and weight 
Length 21.03 m
Wing span 52 m
Height  5.18 m
Weight (normal) 108 t
Maximum take off weight 170 t
Engines
Engines 4 x F - 110 General Electric turbines
Traction 4 x 8607 kg
Altitude 15 km
Maximum speed ~ 1000 km/h at high altitude
Flying range 10 000 - 12 000 km
Armament
Missiles 16 cruise missiles mostly AGM-129 or bombs 
Bombs CBU-87, M117, Mk 82, Mk 84, including nuclear B61 and B83 or 16 cruise missiles
"Stealth" bombers B-2 firstly attempted great interest when appeared first information in public press about ability of creation "stealth" bomber in USA at the end of 70-ties. Firstly classified and modernized first bomber was officially presented at the press conference in Washington on 22 July 1980. The greatest part of information remained secret and the conference was organized to prevent spreading title-tattle information filling public press for a last few months.

In 1975 US Air Force was seriously interested in "stealth" aircraft. It made contract with Lockheed corporation to project and produce "stealth" fighters. There were created some models and one of them got indexation F-117. Later in 1985 US Air Force made order in Northrop for "stealth" bomber production. Northrop's experience in low radar visibility technology was more than 50 years then.  

Northrop's constructors developed aircraft with "low radar visibility". They developed "stealth" bomber with rounded shapes to ensure better radar signal spreading, suppressing their regressive reflection. Four reaction engines, fuel tanks and armament were placed inside the bomber. B-2 has special cover, called RAM, absorbing radio waves. This cover is made from composite materials based on plastic. Pilot cockpit glass is covered with transparent gold coat. This coat helps to suppress radar waves regressive reflection from pilots helm and other internal cockpit equipment..

In 17'th July 1989 after almost decade of developing first B-2 looking like a bat took of the ground. Two US Air Force fighters F-16 were leading B-2 in it's first flight upon California dessert near Edwards military base. B-2 was piloted by two test-pilots at a quiet low speed and altitude, reaching only 3 000 m limit. After two hours bomber was returned to airbase. It's developing cost 22 milliards of dollars and made it the most expensive aircraft in the history. Single bombers price is approximately 2.1 milliard of dollars.      

Bomber is controlled by a half-automatic control system Computer permanently controls flight and automatically corrects yokes position. Pilot is controlling bomber also by giving orders to computer.  

B-2 was projected with for special purposes. In case of war it could deeply intrude into enemy's territory and drop nuclear bombs on ballistic intercontinental missile loading shafts. B-2 was also able to strike against ground command centers to eliminate enemies command staff. Additional B-2 tasks are to search and destroy mobile enemies mobile missile loading platforms. Bomber was firstly used in military conflict in Yugoslavia in 1999.

From 1991 when B-2 entered service in US Air Force there were built 20 "stealth" bombers. 

 


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