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Northrop Grumman B-2 "Spirit"

Strategic Heavy Bomber (Stealth)

Stealth Attack, 1990s Style.

The Northrop B-2 'Spirit' is the culmination of work by the company that began back in the World War 2 period, resulting such designs as the XB-35 and YB-49 flying wings. The B-2 originated during the latter stages of the Cold War period as a stealth-centric penetrator capable of precision-guided weapons delivery, both conventional and nuclear. The result was the Spirit which has continued to serve the USAF. With the end of the Cold War, the 133 aircraft planned became just 21 including the original developmental model. Today, the B-2 makes up one-third the strategic bomber force of the USAF that includes the B-52 'Stratofortress' and B-1 'Lancer'.
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Mission Roles

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Image from the U.S. DoD DVIDS imagery database; Public Release.
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Image from the U.S. DoD DVIDS imagery database; Public Release.
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Image from the U.S. DoD DVIDS imagery database; Public Release.
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Image from the U.S. DoD DVIDS imagery database; Public Release.
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Image from the U.S. DoD DVIDS imagery database; Public Release.


Stealth From the Start

Even from the beginning of its development cycle, the Spirit was envisioned as a strategic-level penetrator capable of circumventing enemy air defenses through stealth features. Its wholly unique planform was part of this vision and features smooth contouring as well as sharply-cut angles.

Precision Attack

The Spirit was debuted during the Kosovo War of the 1990s where the platform was credited with dropping 500 tons of precision ordnance on enemy targets. This was repeated during the 2001 air campaign over Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Extreme Long Range Flexibility

Blessed with long endurance, the B-2 bombing platform can reach the enemy wherever he lies and, to this, is added an in-flight refuling capability which allows the Spirit to expand its attack radius considerably.

Tools of the Trade

Whatever the target, the B-2 bomber has access to all in-service USAF air-dropped / air-launched ordnance types including conventional, precision-guided, nuclear, and missile-type weapons. This includes the AGM-154 JSOW and AGM-158 JASSM solutions.


Active, In-Service (27 yrs)
Northrop Grumman - USA
21 Units
1 Total

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United States

(List includes former, current, and potential operating nations)
B-2A (Block 30): 4 x General Electric F118-GE-100 non-afterburning turbofan engines developing 17,300lb of thrust each.

(Assuming optimal flying/environmental conditions)
Maximum Speed
628 mph | 1,010 kph | 545 kts
Cruising Speed
559 mph | 900 kph | 486 kts
Service Ceiling
49,869 ft | 15,200 m | 9.44 miles
Operational Range
6,835 miles | 11,000 km | 5,940 nm
(Showcased performance statistics pertain to the B-2A (Block 30) production model)
68.90 feet (21.00 meters)
172.24 feet (52.50 meters)
16.99 feet (5.18 meters)
(Showcased measurements pertain to the B-2A (Block 30) production model)
158,071 lb (71,700 kg)
376,108 lb (170,600 kg)
(Showcased weights pertain to the B-2A (Block 30) production model)
2 x Internal bays housed in the center body rated for up to 50,000lb of air-launched / air-dropped ordnance including conventional drop bombs, precision-guided / laser-guided bombs, nuclear (B61/B83) weapons, AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW), and the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM). Supported Types:

Close-in Cannon graphic Close-in Gun(s)
Air-to-Surface Missile graphic Air-to-Surface Missiles
Precision-Guided Bomb graphic Precision-Guided Bombs
Conventional Drop Bomb graphic Conventional Drop Bombs
Conventional Nuclear Bomb graphic Nuclear Weapons
B-2 'Spirit' - Base Series Designation.
B-2A - Primary production model; 21 total aircraft completed.
B-2A (Block Test/30) - Developmental / operational aircraft AV-1 through AV-6.
B-2A (Block 10) - Operational models from AV-7 through AV-16.
B-2A (Block 20) - Operational models from AV-17 through AV-19.
B-2A (Block 30) - Operational models AV-20 and AV-21.

Related to the B-2 "Spirit" ...

Entries with similar traits, features, or shared history to the Northrop Grumman B-2 "Spirit" .

B-52 "Stratofortress"
Image of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
B-1 "Lancer"
Image of the Rockwell B-1 Lancer
Product List
Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman Company graphic

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