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<!--BEGIN SPECIFICATIONS--> B-2 Spirit Specifications Primary Function: Multi-role heavy bomber Contractor: Northrop Grumman Corp. Crew: Two pilots Unit Cost: Approximately $1.157 billion Powerplant Four General Electric F-118-GE-100 engines (17,300 lb each) Dimensions Length: 69 feet (20.9 meters) Wingspan: 172 feet (52.12 meters) Height: 17 feet (5.1 meters) Weights Empty: 162,000 lb (73,482 kg) Typical Takeoff: 336,500 lb (152,634 kg) Performance Speed: High subsonic Ceiling: 50,000 feet (15,152 meters) Range: Intercontinental, unrefueled Armament NUCLEAR 16 B61 16 B83 CONVENTIONAL 80 MK82 16 MK84 36 CBU87 36 CBU89 36 CBU97 PRECISION 16 JDAM (2,000 lb GBU-31) 8 AGM-154 JSOW 8 GBU-37 Bunker Busters 8 EGBU-28 (Enhanced GBU-37) AGM-158 (JASSM) Service Life First Flight: July 17, 1989 (B-2) End of Service: N/A Number Built: [21 total] <!--END SPECIFICATIONS--> <!--BEGIN ACHIEVEMENTS--> B-2 Spirit Achievements In support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the B-2 flew one of its longest missions to date from Whiteman to Afghanistan and back. <!--END ACHIEVEMENTS--> <!--BEGIN FEATURES--> B-2 Spirit Features Along with the B-52 and B-1B, the B-2 provides the penetrating flexibility and effectiveness inherent in manned bombers. Its low-observable, or "stealth," characteristics give it the unique ability to penetrate an enemy's most sophisticated defenses and threaten its most valued, and heavily defended, targets. Its capability to penetrate air defenses and threaten effective retaliation provide a strong, effective deterrent and combat force well into the 21st century. The revolutionary blending of low-observable technologies with high aerodynamic efficiency and large payload gives the B-2 important advantages over existing bombers. Its low-observability provides it greater freedom of action at high altitudes, thus increasing its range and a better field of view for the aircraft's sensors. Its unrefueled range is approximately 6,000 nautical miles (9,600 kilometers). The B-2's low observability is derived from a combination of reduced infrared, acoustic, electromagnetic, visual and radar signatures. These signatures make it difficult for the sophisticated defensive systems to detect, track and engage the B-2. Many aspects of the low-observability process remain classified; however, the B-2's composite materials, special coatings and flying-wing design all contribute to its "stealthiness." The B-2 has a crew of two pilots, a pilot in the left seat and mission commander in the right, compared to the B-1B's crew of four and the B-52's crew of five. Source: http://www.af.mil <!--END FEATURES--> <!--BEGIN BACKGROUND--> B-2 Spirit Background The first B-2 was publicly displayed on Nov. 22, 1988, when it was rolled out of its hangar at Air Force Plant 42, Palmdale, Calif. Its first flight was July 17, 1989. The B-2 Combined Test Force, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., is responsible for flight testing the engineering, manufacturing and development aircraft as they are produced. . Whiteman AFB, Mo., is the B-2's only operational base. The first aircraft, Spirit of Missouri, was delivered Dec. 17, 1993. Depot maintenance responsibility for the B-2 is performed by Air Force contractor support and is managed at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker AFB, Okla.. The success of the B-2 was proved in Operation Allied Force, where it was responsible for destroying 33 percent of all Serbian targets in the first eight weeks, by flying nonstop to Kosovo from its home base in Missouri and back. In support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the B-2 flew one of its longest missions to date from Whiteman to Afghanistan and back.. The prime contractor, responsible for overall system design and integration, is Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems Sector. Boeing Military Airplanes Co., Hughes Radar Systems Group, General Electric Aircraft Engine Group and Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc., are key members of the aircraft contractor team. Another major contractor, responsible for aircrew training devices (weapon system trainer and mission trainer) is Hughes Training Inc. (HTI) - Link Division, formerly known as CAE - Link Flight Simulation Corp. Northrop Grumman and its major subcontractor HTI, are responsible for developing and integrating all aircrew and maintenance training programs. Source: http://www.af.mil <!--END BACKGROUND-->
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