Author Topic: B-2 Spirit  (Read 2826 times)

Ayoshi

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B-2 Spirit
« on: November 20, 2016, 03:53:58 AM »
Boeing
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Historical Snapshot

The B-2 stealth bomber, with its unique flying wing configuration and low-observable, radar-evading, or “stealth,” technology is a versatile multi-role bomber, capable of delivering both nuclear and conventional munitions. The sleek structure is reminiscent of the B-35, developed by Northrop during the 1940s, and uses advanced composites, such as resin-impregnated graphite fiber, rather than metal.

As part of an industry team led by Northrop, Boeing built the outboard portion of the B-2 stealth bomber wing, the aft center fuselage section, landing gears, fuel system and weapons delivery system. At its peak in 1991, the B-2 was the largest military program at Boeing, employing about 10,000 people. The same year, the National Aeronautic Association of the U.S.A. awarded the B-2 design team the Collier Trophy for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, as demonstrated in actual use.

The first B-2 rolled out of the bomber's final assembly facility in Palmdale, Calif., in November 1988 and it flew for the first time on July 17, 1989.The first B-2 entered the Air Force's operational fleet at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., on Dec. 17, 1993. On Oct. 29, 1994, the Air Force's fourth operational B-2 was named "Spirit of Washington" in Seattle, Wash., to honor the people of the state who helped make the B-2 a reality.

Northrop Grumman
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The U.S. Air Force's B-2 stealth bomber is a key component of the nation's long-range strike arsenal, and one of the most survivable aircraft in the world. Its unique capabilities, including its stealth characteristics, allow it to penetrate the most sophisticated enemy defenses and hold at risk high value, heavily defended targets. The B-2 has demonstrated its capabilities in several combat scenarios, including Operation Allied Force in Kosovo; Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and most recently, in Libya, during Operation Odyssey Dawn.

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Northrop Grumman, the B-2 prime contractor, leads an industry team that is working with the Air Force to modernize the B-2 to ensure that it remains fully mission capable against evolving worldwide threats. A range of upgrade programs are improving the B-2's lethality; its ability to collect, process and disseminate battlefield information with joint force commanders or other local first responders worldwide; and its ability to receive updated target information during a mission.

Twenty one aircraft were built in the original B-2 fleet. Today, the fleet consists of 20 aircraft, following the loss, in February 2008, of the Spirit of Kansas, which crashed while taking off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, the only such incident in the B-2's more than 20 years of operation. Nineteen B-2s are currently based at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., home of the 509th Bomb Wing, while one aircraft is assigned to flight testing at Edwards AFB, Calif. to validate software and weapon systems upgrades.


A B-2 Spirit bomber prepares to receive fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker during a mission in the European theater supporting NATO Operation Allied Force. The B-2 Spirit is a multi-role bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions. 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. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ken Bergmann)

Ayoshi

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Re: B-2 Spirit
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2016, 04:02:36 AM »
U.S. sends 3 B-2 bombers to Asia-Pacific | CNN - March 10, 2016
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The deployment comes amid heightened tensions with North Korea, which tested two short-range missiles on Thursday and earlier this week claimed it has miniaturized nuclear warheads to fit on ballistic missiles. North Korea's actions come as U.S. and South Korean forces conduct annual military drills involving thousands of troops.

It also comes at a time of tensions with China as Beijing asserts its claims over disputed areas in the South China Sea by building infrastructure, including harbors and airstrips on islands in the sea and upping its military presence.

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B-2s have made deployments to Andersen Air Force Base on the Pacific island of Guam in recent years, including last August. And in March 2013, a B-2 flew from Missouri and dropped inert munitions during training exercises over South Korea.

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America's B-2 stealth bomber is getting some serious upgrades | Business Insider - Aug. 31, 2016
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Air Force pilots of the 1980s-era stealthy B-2 Spirit bomber plan to upgrade and fly the aircraft on attack missions against enemy air defenses well into the 2050s, service officials said. 

B-2 Modernization Upgrades – Taking the Stealth Bomber Into the 2050s

One of the key upgrades is called the Defensive Management System, a technology which helps inform the B-2 crew about the location of enemy air defenses. Therefore, if there are emerging air defenses equipped with the technology sufficient to detect the B-2, the aircraft will have occasion to maneuver in such a way as to stay outside of their range.

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B-2 Weapons Upgrades

The comprehensive B-2 upgrades also include efforts to outfit the attack aircraft with next generation digital nuclear weapons such as the B-61 Mod 12 with a tail kit and Long Range Stand-Off weapon or, LRSO, an air-launched, guided nuclear cruise missile, service officials said.

The B-61 Mod 12 is an ongoing modernization program which seeks to integrate the B-61 Mods 3, 4, 7 and 10 into a single variant with a guided tail kit. The B-61 Mod 12 is being engineered to rely on an inertial measurement unit for navigation.

In addition to the LRSO, B83 and B-61 Mod 12, the B-2 will also carry the B-61 Mod 11, a nuclear weapon designed with penetration capabilities, Air Force officials said.

The LRSO will replace the Air Launched Cruise Missile, or ALCM, which right now is only carried by the B-52 bomber, officials said.

Alongside its nuclear arsenal, the B-2 will carry a wide range of conventional weapons to include precision-guided 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions, or JDAMs, 5,000-pound JDAMs, Joint Standoff Weapons, Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles and GBU 28 5,000-pound bunker buster weapons, among others.

The platform is also preparing to integrate a long-range conventional air-to-ground standoff weapon called the JASSM-ER, for Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, Extended Range.

Ayoshi

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Re: B-2 Spirit
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2017, 04:10:53 AM »
Orbital ATK to provide USAF with new B-2 bomber composite components | Air Recognition - 02 June 2017
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Orbital ATK, a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, announced today that it has received an initial $90 million contract from Northrop Grumman to produce composite components for the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber with an option for follow-on orders.

Under the terms of the 5-year contract, Orbital ATK will perform Non-Recurring Engineering (NRE) and produce 17 Hot Trailing Edge (HTE) composite parts. Production will take place at Orbital ATK's Aerospace Structures Division facility in Dayton, Ohio, later this year.

Located behind the exhaust nozzles on the aircraft's upper surface, the B-2 HTE experiences repeated thermal and vibro-acoustic stress. The polyimide material presently used for HTEs degrades quickly in this operational environment; as the incessant exposure to heat and engine exhaust exceeds its capabilities, the material cracks and the resin disintegrates.

Recognizing the need for a more resilient material, AFRL in 2010 commenced its design of a new application based on AFR PE 4, the maturation of which culminates work started in the late 1990s towards a new composite material. The successful demonstration of this AFR-PE-4-based design prompted the technology's transition from the lab to a production environment, thanks to the combined efforts of AFRL, Hill AFB, and UDRI.

Ayoshi

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Re: B-2 Spirit
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2017, 03:04:36 PM »
Photo taken from: The Aviationist - Oct 20 2017

B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber Dropping A 30,000-Pound Bunker Buster Bomb
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The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is the only aircraft in the U.S. Air Force inventory currently capable to operationally drop the massive 30,000-lb (14,000 kg) GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (even though the testing of the MOP involved a B-52 back in 2009, the weapon’s intended platform is only the B-2).

The 14-ton GBU-57 is a 20-foot long GPS-guided bomb said to be able to penetrate 200 feet of concrete before exploding: for this reason it is considered the weapon of choice in case of attack on buried targets (such as the North Korean bunkers).


Ayoshi

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Re: B-2 Spirit
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2018, 05:01:46 AM »
USAF B-2 bombers complete first ever deployment in Hawaii | Air Recognition - 05 October 2018
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Despite the deployment taking place in the middle of hurricane season, the B-2 pilots accomplished hundreds of local and long-duration sorties and regional training. Each mission focused on displaying the bomber’s flexible global-strike capability and the United States' commitment to supporting global security.

One of the key integrations involved the B-2s and F-22 Raptors assigned to the 199th Fighter Squadron, a unit of the 154th Wing under the Hawaii Air National Guard. Like the B-2, the F-22 is virtually invisible to threats. This makes them the perfect match for escorting the stealth bomber and providing situational awareness. The training helped polish the cohesion between the pilots.

A B-2 Spirit deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, in support of the U.S. Strategic Command’s Bomber Task Force deployment is parked on the flightline Sept. 26, 2018 (Credit: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Danielle Quilla)