12 American stealth bombers show off their power

The US Air Force mobilized 12 B-2 stealth bombers to take off consecutively to demonstrate strength and demonstrate combat readiness.

“Twelve B-2 Spirit stealth bombers of the 509th Bombardment Group performed consecutive takeoffs at Whiteman base on April 15, ending the annual Spirit Vigilance exercise. Training activities are scheduled to ensure that soldiers are always ready to carry out attack missions on a global scale at all times,” the US Air Force said.

Twelve bombers are equivalent to nearly 70% of all B-2 aircraft in the current US Air Force payroll. This force usually only has 11-12 B-2s that are combat-ready; the rest are at the maintenance factory.

“Deploying 12 B-2 aircraft at the same time is a very impressive move because this is the most expensive aircraft of the US Air Force and requires an extremely complex maintenance process. That may be the intended message. Demonstrating the strength and readiness of this squadron,” wrote writer Oliver Parken on the military website War Zone.

Spirit Vigilance is a training activity to improve the combat capabilities of forces stationed at Whiteman Airport, the only base of the B-2 Spirit squadron. The continuous takeoff exercise will simulate a large-scale conflict situation, in which the B-2 squadron must quickly evacuate the base to avoid a preemptive strike and attack the designated target in a short time. best.

The B-2 Spirit is a strategic bomber model launched by the US in 1988 and is also the most expensive aircraft in history. The cost of building a B-2 at that time was 515 million USD, equivalent to 1.06 billion USD today. If including research and development costs, each Spirit will cost up to 2.1 billion USD. The B-2 series is the spearhead of all US pre-emptive strikes, thanks to its ability to be invisible to enemy radar.

The US has produced a total of 21 B-2 Spirit stealth bombers, of which one was completely destroyed due to an incident during takeoff in Guam in 2008. A fire on the ground seriously damaged another aircraft. Ground in 2010, but was repaired and returned to service at a very high cost.

Two aircraft, Spirit of Hawaii and Spirit of Georgia were also seriously damaged and lost their ability to operate due to an incident during landing in 2021-2022. The US Air Force is repairing the Spirit of Georgia but has not announced plans to restore the Spirit of Hawaii.