Northrop Grumman B-2A Spirit

The formidable B-2 Spirit is an American multi-role stealth bomber capable of not only penetrating sophisticated enemy defences, but also of attacking heavily defended targets with both nuclear and conventional weapons.
Aware that Northrop’s living-wing bombers of the late 1940s had been difficult to track on radar, the US Air Force approached the company in the 1970s when it required a subsonic bomber to penetrate Soviet airspace undetected. The resulting B-2, using flv-by-wire to overcome instability and “low-observable” design techniques to render it “stealthy”, first flew in Julv 1989.
The radical blending of low-observable technologies with high aerodynamic efficiency and large payload gives the B-2 important advantages over previous bombers. Virtually an all-wing aeroplane, with its crew and 40,000lb bomb load housed in the bulbous centre section, the B-2 has four turbofan engines installed in pairs on either side. Their
intakes and orifices are located above the wing where they are shielded against detection.
The first operational B-2A was delivered in December 1993, and B-2As made their debut in Kosovo in
1999. Since then, they have operated over Afghanistan and in Iraq.

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