As ‘Black Aircraft Week’ draws towards conclusion, we take a look at one of the USAF’s ‘Black Projects’, the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit.
Black Friday may now be over (the dust still settling in many a supermarket…), but we promised you a full week of black aircraft!
The B-2 Spirit “stealth bomber” (as it is colloquially known) first flew on 17 July 1989 and made its combat debut over Kosovo in 1999. It has the capability to drop both JDAM guided bombs and nuclear weapons, and its ‘stealth’ technology gives it the benefit of being able to penetrate enemy defences with a smaller radar signature than a conventional aircraft. In addition to the war in Kosovo, B-2s have flown in combat over Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom), Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom) and Libya (Operation Odyssey Dawn). The aircraft has the ability to fly long-range combat operations and currently holds an endurance record of 44.3 hours, which allows USAF B-2s to operate from their home bases in mainland USA should the need arise.
B-2s recently deployed to RAF Fairford, UK, for Exercise Sabre Strike, where the photographs below originated from.
We have just one day to go before ‘Black Aircraft Week’ wraps up, so check back tomorrow for the final update.