The iconic Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber is one of the most sophisticated airframes ever created.
The stealth bomber Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is one of the rarest aircraft in the world. Only 21 were manufactured at $737 million, resulting from Cold War invention. With a range of 6,900 miles, it can carry up to eighty 500-pound Mk 82 JDAM GPS-guided missiles or sixteen 2,400-pound B38 nuclear bombs. As part of the Advanced Technology Bomber (ATB) program, the B-2 Spirit was created with cutting-edge supercomputers. It was classified as a black project, one of the top-secret classifications, meaning that only those with the most significant security clearance were permitted to work on it.
Its unique “flying wing” design and anti-reflective coating make it seem pitch-black in flight, reducing its visibility to potential opponents. The B-2 has the most extended air combat mission in history. Six stealth bombers entered Afghan airspace in 2001 and completed 44-hour tasks. After refueling, they flew 30 hours back to their base in Missouri. The mission ultimately lasted almost 70 hours.