This Is Why A Single B-2 Stealth Bomber Is As Powerful As An Aircraft Carrier
There is no doubt that the B-2 stealth bomber is a key component of the United States’ long-range aircraft fleet. Its high-tech stealth characteristics allow it to penetrate the world’s most advanced air defenses and it is one of the most survivable aircraft in the world.
It is well known that B-2 has amazing stealth capabilities, but how about firepower? The US B-2 Stealth bomber saw its first successful combat role in 1999 during Operation Allied Force. “Shock and Awe” is another example. It destroyed Iraqi air defenses in 2003 and also took out the Libyan fighter forces in 2011.
The B-2’s manufacturer Northrop Grumman writes on their website about Operation Allied Force,
“Two B-2s flew more than thirty-one hours from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to Kosovo. They attacked multiple targets, then flew directly back. The B-2s flew less than 1 percent of the total missions, yet destroyed 33 percent of the targets during the first eight weeks of conflict,”
Another incredible achievement of the B-2 stealth bomber is that it holds the record for the longest air combat mission in history.
Northrop Grumman writes,
“In 2001, the Spirit of America and five other B-2s were the first to enter Afghan airspace for a record-setting forty-four-hour mission,”
“The aircraft’s performance is even more impressive in that the B-2 made a quick pit stop for a forty-five-minute crew and service change with engines still running. It then flew back to Missouri for another thirty-hour flight for a total of more than seventy consecutive hours,”
Although the B-2 crew has to go through very long and tiring missions, the crew does not even have a bed or a refrigerator. All they have in the cockpit is 2 seats and the small space behind them.
Commander of Detachment 5 of the 29th Training Systems Squadron, Lt. Col. Nicola Polidor told in an interview,
“Sometimes we can bring a little blow-up mattress, put in on the floor and take a nap, It’s about big enough for someone who is five feet eight but not big enough for taller people,”
Lt. Gen. David Deptula (Ret.), who participated in the planning and preparation for Operation Iraqi Freedom mentioned the importance of an aircraft like the B-2 bomber,
“The B-2 is one of the most game-changing aircraft ever built … and one of the most cost-effective,” he said. “One B-2 can deliver the punch of an entire aircraft carrier air wing at several orders of magnitude less in operating cost and personnel.”