There’s approximately $12billion worth of equipment in picture of B-2 Spirit Bomber elephant walk

More than the annual defense budgets of over 170 countries – in one single photo.
  • The photo shows a Spirit Bomber elephant walk at Whiteman Air Force Base
  • The elephant walk was for the annual Spirit Vigilance training exercise
  • There’s approximately $12 billion worth of equipment in one single photo

Published on Apr 26, 2024 at 6:28PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Apr 30, 2024 at 6:00PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood
There's approximately $12billion worth of equipment in picture of B-2 Spirit Bomber elephant walk

What you’re looking at here is a United States Air Force (USAF) B-2A Spirit Bomber elephant walk.

The gathering, which took place at Whiteman Air Force Base in Johnson County, Missouri, was for the annual Spirit Vigilance training exercise.

It’s not just a cool picture because there are 11 Spirit Bomber aircraft together – but because of how much equipment is on show at once.

READ MORE! Extraordinary rare footage emerges of iconic Concorde landing on Caribbean island

There’s approximately $12 billion worth of equipment in this single photo.

To put that into perspective, that’s more than the annual defense budgets of over 170 countries.

Not only is the B-2 Spirit Bomber an engineering marvel, it’s one of the finest examples of American air superiority.

Despite looking as mean as hell, it manages to fly through the sky as majestically as a bird.

But what makes the B-2 Spirit Bomber so special?

For starters, the B-2 has all-altitude capability to penetrate the most sophisticated air defenses in nuclear and conventional missions.

In other words, it can fly totally undetected by radar, allowing it to sneak up on the enemy.

Before it took to the skies in 1989, Northrop Grumman – the Stealth Bomber’s manufacturer – had to invent all its components from scratch.

That list included tools, a software laboratory, composite materials, special test equipment, and 3D modeling and computer systems, with related manufacturing processes also created.

The B-2 Stealth Bomber, one of the most survivable aircraft in the world, is the only aircraft to combine long-range, stealth, and a heavy payload on a single platform.

The Stealth saw its first operational use during Operational Allied Force, when two B-2s flew more than 31 hours from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to the Balkans, attacking multiple targets before flying directly back.

Just like Concorde, with its iconic droop nose, the B-2 has an unmistakable silhouette and flying wing design, making it one of the most recognized aircraft in the world.

It’s even appeared in movies such as Independence Day, Armageddon, Iron Man 2, Cloverfield, Airplanes, Rampage and, most recently, Captain Marvel.

But when the Stealth Bomber isn’t making movie cameos, fighting off giant monsters or an alien invasion, it’s reaching subsonic speed and an altitude of more than 50,000 feet.

That’s not quite as fast as Concorde, though, which was able to break the Mach 2 barrier.

What’s truly amazing, though, is that the B-2 can travel 6,000 nautical miles (11,112 km) without refueling and 10,000 nautical miles (18,520 km) with only one refuel, reaching any point in the world within hours.

After 34 years of service, the B-2 Stealth Bombes continues to perform, inspire, and pave the way forward – long may it continue.

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