USAF B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber

USAF B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber

The Northrop (later Northrop Grumman) B-2 Spirit, also known as the Stealth Bomber, is an American heavy penetration strategic bomber, featuring low observable stealth technology designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses; it is a flying wing design with a crew of two. The bomber can deploy both conventional and thermonuclear weapons, such as eighty 500 lb (230 kg)-class (Mk 82) JDAM Global Positioning System-guided bombs, or sixteen 2,400 lb (1,100 kg) B83 nuclear bombs.

The B-2 is the only acknowledged aircraft that can carry large air-to-surface standoff weapons in a stealth configuration. Development originally started under the “Advanced Technology Bomber” (ATB) project during the Carter administration; its expected performance was one of his reasons for the cancellation of the supersonic B-1A bomber. The ATB project continued during the Reagan administration, but worries about delays in its introduction led to the reinstatement of the B-1 program as well. Program costs rose throughout development. Designed and manufactured by Northrop, later Northrop Grumman, the cost of each aircraft averaged US$737 million (in 1997 dollars). Total procurement costs averaged $929 million per aircraft, which includes spare parts, equipment, retrofitting, and software support. The total program cost including development, engineering and testing, averaged $2.1 billion per aircraft in 1997.

Because of its considerable capital and operating costs, the project was controversial in the U.S. Congress and among the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The winding-down of the Cold War in the latter portion of the 1980s dramatically reduced the need for the aircraft, which was designed with the intention of penetrating Soviet airspace and attacking high-value targets. During the late 1980s and 1990s, Congress slashed plans to purchase 132 bombers to 21. In 2008, a B-2 was destroyed in a crash shortly after takeoff, though the crew ejected safely. A total of 20 B-2s remain in service with the United States Air Force, which plans to operate the B-2 until 2058.

The B-2 is capable of all-altitude attack missions up to 50,000 feet (15,000 m), with a range of more than 6,000 nautical miles (6,900 mi; 11,000 km) on internal fuel and over 10,000 nautical miles (12,000 mi; 19,000 km) with one midair refueling. It entered service in 1997 as the second aircraft designed to have advanced stealth technology after the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk attack aircraft. Though designed originally as primarily a nuclear bomber, the B-2 was first used in combat, dropping conventional, non-nuclear ordnance in the Kosovo War in 1999. It later served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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  • Thank you to the Miami Police Department for your help this weekend at the 2017 National Salute to America's Heroes! We Salute you and all our #FirstResponders who helped make this event amazing this weekend. #USASalute #NationalSalute #AirSeaShow #MiamiBeach

    nationalsalute: "Thank you to the Miami Police Department for your help this weekend at the 2017 National Salute to America's Heroes! We Salute you and all our #FirstResponders who helped make this event amazing this weekend. #USASalute #NationalSalute #AirSeaShow #MiamiBeach"
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  • Thank you for joining the 2017 National Salute to America's Heroes! We thank Van Wagner Aerial Media for our #USASalute Old Glory Flyover! It has been flying Aerial messages across the country for over 60 years and maintains the world’s largest fleet of Super Cubs to get the job done. It has participated in Salutes, such as this years’, by flying the world’s largest American Flag/Old Glory to the thrill of spectators by the thousands. Van Wagner can execute large Aerial campaigns across multiple national markets, as well as personal Happy Birthday and Proposal banners. Give them a call today for an incredibly low price to put your banner in the sky. 1-800 2FLYADS. #AirSeaShow #MiamiBeach #SFL

    nationalsalute: "Thank you for joining the 2017 National Salute to America's Heroes! We thank Van Wagner Aerial Media for our #USASalute Old Glory Flyover! 
It has been flying Aerial messages across the country for over 60 years and maintains the world’s largest fleet of Super Cubs to get the job done.  It has participated in Salutes, such as this years’, by flying the world’s largest American Flag/Old Glory to the thrill of spectators by the thousands. 
Van Wagner can execute large Aerial campaigns across multiple national markets, as well as personal Happy Birthday and Proposal banners.  Give them a call today for an incredibly low price to put your banner in the sky.  1-800 2FLYADS. #AirSeaShow #MiamiBeach #SFL"
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  • We would like to conclude the 2017 National Salute to America's Heroes presented by Hyundai with a heritage flight from the United States Air Force. A big thank you to all of the Military and First Responder men and women for your service to this great nation!

    nationalsalute: "We would like to conclude the 2017 National Salute to America's Heroes presented by Hyundai with a heritage flight from the United States Air Force.

A big thank you to all of the Military and First Responder men and women for your service to this great nation!"
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