The B-2 Bomber
Multi-role heavy bomber|
Nation of Origin:||
The United States of America|
6,000 nautical miles (9,600 km)|
50,000 feet (15,240 meters)|
Various conventional or nuclear weapons|
40,000 pounds (18,444 kg)|
Four General Electric F-118-GE-100 engines|
Two (pilot, mission commander)|
So my wife and I were driving down Route 9 last Saturday just minding our own business, bullshitting about something inane like whether or not Angelina Jolie could beat Jennifer Aniston in a Russian underground roller derby slapfighting ring when all of a sudden she pointed out the window emphatically and exclaimed, "holy shit what the fuck is THAT thing?!"
I peered out through the windshield and saw something that I'd only seen before in pictures:
Pictures can't do this thing justice, however. I'm a veteran of many, many air shows and pre-game jet fighter fly-bys, but no plane I've ever seen (military or otherwise) was as ominous, foreboding and awe-inspiring as as this thing. It was unbelievable.
First off, you can see why the yokels out at Area 51 thought they were seeing UFOs when the USAF was test flying these things in the Nevada desert. It's unlike anything you've ever seen before. It's almost completely flat, pitch black, and unconventionally shaped. It seriously just looks like a hole in the sky. Plus, when it flew over our heads we didn't even hear it. It was flying pretty low, and the fact that it was completely silent just made its presence that much more unnatural and unnerving. Watching this thing fly overtop of our car was enough to convince me that if the USAF is out to get you there's not a whole lot you can do about it. If this thing wanted to drop eight thousand pounds of ordinance and replace my Honda with a giant smoking crater, my experience Saturday convinced me that I'd be completely fucked.
The B-2 bomber is the epitome of Stealth techonology; it's invisible to all forms of radar and tracking and gives off no heat signatures, vapor trails or audible clues as to it's location. It utilizes it's retardedly long range to launch bombing raids on the Middle East from secure bases as far away as the United States and Europe and it's black hull, combined with the fact that it usually executes it's bombing raids at night, makes it virtually impossible to detect with the human eye. It flies at incredibly high altitudes, but is capable of using it's on-board guidance systems to accurately place large numbers of bombs and strike dozens of targets in a single run. The amount of ordinance it carries and the lack of a need for fighter escort (thanks to the Stealth technology), allow two B-2s to complete a bombing raid which previously required 32 F-16s, 16 F-15s, and 27 support aircraft, and perform it with a range that was unheard of before-hand. It's the ultimate in "silent but deadly", like roughly equivalent to being surprise attacked by fifty thousand ninjas AT THE SAME TIME. It's like you'll just be hanging out drinking some booze with your Taliban buddies when all of a sudden you get a telegram from the United States Air Force reading, "I'm in ur base killing ur d00dz" and the next thing you know you're getting a knuckle sandwich from a 2,000-pound bomb with a picture of Uncle Sam giving you the finger painted on the side of it.
B-2s have served in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, and a stealth bomber has never been shot down by enemy fire. In fact, some scientists predict that if you actually were able to hit a B-2 with a surface-to-air missile, it would just get pissed and morph into a giant Voltron-like robot capable of destroying entire villages with its Power Sword. So don't fuck with it. Also, it costs like three billion US dollars to make ONE of these fuckers. You've gotta respect any piece of military hardware that's so goddamned expensive that one-fifth of the countries in the world couldn't buy it with their Annual Gross Domestic Product.
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