A compilation video released in August 2022 features rare footage of the revolutionary B-2 stealth bomber in flight, which is a sight that most people never get to see.
Originally introduced more than three decades ago, the $2 billion B-2 was intended to deter aggression from U.S. adversaries, namely the Soviet Union. About 20 B-2 Spirit stealth bombers still remain in the U.S. Air Force fleet.
As the global leader in stealth aircraft technology, the U.S.’s B-2 is the only stealth bomber of its kind worldwide. The B-2 makes rare appearances to participate in exercises or serve as a show of force.
The B-2 was the first response by the military on 9/11 and also to occupy the Taliban and Al Queda forces in Oct. 2001, according to Whiteman Air Force Base.
According to the Air Force, the B-2 Spirit’s stealth characteristics “give it the unique ability to penetrate an enemy’s most sophisticated defenses and threaten its most valued, and heavily defended, targets.” The Spirit can “penetrate air defenses and threaten effective retaliation,” providing “a strong, effective deterrent and combat force well into the 21st century.”
“The B-2 Spirit is a multi-role bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions,” the Air Force’s website states. “A dramatic leap forward in technology, the bomber represents a major milestone in the U.S. bomber modernization program. The B-2 brings massive firepower to bear, in a short time, anywhere on the globe through previously impenetrable defenses.”
The B-2 Stealth Bomber is practically indestructible. It can fly 6,000 miles without needing to refuel, and can carry more than 20 tons of weapons — both conventional and nuclear — under any conditions, according to Northrop Grumman
The Air Force is expected to replace the B-2 with the B-21 Raider. The B-21 Raider is a small, stealthier and even more technically advanced version of its predecessor.