This is a pictorial history of Jack Northrop’s dream, the B-2A Spirit, a low-observable, strategic, long-range, heavy bomber with the ability to penetrate sophisticated and dense enemy air-defense shields. It is capable of all-altitude attack missions up to 50,000 feet, with a range of more than 6,000 nautical miles (nm) unrefueled, and over 10,000 nm with one refueling, giving it the ability to fly to any point in the world within hours. Stealth technology has rendered radar systems ineffective by greatly reducing their detection ranges. After ten years of service, the B-2A finally achieved full operational capability in December 2003. An assessment published by the USAF showed that two B-2As armed with precision weaponry could do the job of seventy-five conventional aircraft.
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