American B-2A Spirit bomber received a new stealth radio-absorbing coating
WASHINGTON, (BM) – According to the latest information disseminated by the American company Northrup Gruman, the “Spirit of Pennsylvania” or a well-known B-2A bomber is preparing to fly to Edwards Air Force Base for further tests, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
The easy task of testing and verifying all the functionality of the bomber has been undertaken by the 412 Test Wing of the US Air Force, which is an integral part of the “pre-premiere” process of each new Pentagon fighter.
The B-2 bomber is required to undergo major repairs every nine years, whether it has been used in combat missions or not. This overhaul includes not only mechanical parts, construction and housing, but also electronics, stealth coating and radar capabilities. It is the radio-absorbing materials and the non-standard geometric shape that are the basis of the stealth technology, which makes this type of aircraft invisible to foreign radars. According to a source from Northrup Gruman, in recent weeks the company has done just that – re-application of radio-absorbing materials.
We know that in addition to the “Spirit of Pennsylvania”, the US Air Force uses two other bombers for its missions abroad – B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress.
More about USAF B2-A Spirit bomber
The Northrop B-2 Spirit is a four-engine strategic bomber produced by the US manufacturer Northrop. The flying wing designed B-2 is the most famous stealth bomber and is by far the most expensive fighter in the world. It is used exclusively by the United States Air Force.
The B-2 is a design that has been optimized with regard to stealth technology, which means that it is much more difficult to detect and combat than conventional bombers. Originally, the aircraft was designed as a nuclear weapon carrier, which in the event of a conflict was supposed to bypass the Soviet air defense in order to then attack enemy targets deep in the hinterland with a large number of nuclear weapons.
After the end of the Cold War, however, numerous modifications were made in order to be able to use a wide range of conventional and precision-guided air-to-ground weapons. A B-2 launches an AGM-158-JASSM cruise missile.
Even after the introduction of the “Block 30” modifications, the relatively small B-2 fleet received several additional combat value increases. These mostly related to the integration of new weapon systems such as the AGM-154 JSOW or the Paveway series. Integration programs for GBU-39 and MOP bombs are currently underway. In the area of communication, a MIDS terminal [supported inter alia. Link 16] and a new satellite communication system were installed that can establish a connection to the new AEHF satellites.
In addition, a new LPI data link is to be implemented, which should enable communication with the F-22 and F-35. The processors were also exchanged for newer models during the service period, such as the integration of PowerPC processors, new fiber optic cables and mass storage devices. In November 2002 Raytheon received the order to replace the passive phased array antennas with AESA models in order to increase the performance of the on-board radar.
Each of the two antennas should have more than 2000 transmitters, with the installation to be completed by 2011. The first appropriately modernized B-2 was delivered to the Air Force on March 17, 2009. In February 2008, Northrop Grumman received the order to modernize the avionics and the weapon computer so that the B-2 can also fight moving targets effectively.
With the development and proliferation of more and more powerful radar and air defense systems, it has become necessary in the course of time to further reduce the radar cross-section of the B-2 in order to cope with new threats. These measures are largely confidential, although it can be assumed that improvements were primarily made to the radar-absorbing materials and the aircraft surface, as the structure of the machine can no longer be fundamentally rebuilt at acceptable prices.
It has become known, however, that the B-2 fleet is currently being fitted with a new radar-absorbing material that is primarily intended to simplify and shorten maintenance. The new substance is called “Alternate High Frequency Material” and should be applied to all existing B-2 bombers.
A new version of the B-2 bomber will be able to break through the defense of Russian S-400 air defense systems
The American perspective strategic subsonic bomber B-21 “Raider” is a modern and super-technological variant of the B-2 bomber, said several Russian military experts.
A number of media, citing the Australian Mitchell Institute and a report by US Air Force officials, report that promising US strategic B-21 invisible bombers are invulnerable to Russian S-400 air defense systems. It is reported that these aircraft will be able to freely enter the zone of air defense and remain undetected until the launch of missiles.
The media write that experts at the Mitchell Institute in Melbourne called on the US authorities not to cut funding for the promising bomber program. They calculated that for the effective use of these aircraft against Russia, the Pentagon would need at least 200 of the latest stealth machines.
The American perspective strategic subsonic bomber B-21 “Raider” is a modern and super-technological variant of the B-2 bomber. The new machine has special requirements for survival and stealth. The main focus is on the ability to control the aircraft as a pilot, or in a completely unmanned mode.
The bomber will be executed according to the “flying wing” scheme and will be able to carry on board both existing types and promising weapons. The design cost of one aircraft is approximately equal to 500 million dollars.
The media note that so far no B-21 Raider type cars have been built. Therefore, as journalists believe, all the conclusions of overseas military experts are ordinary speculation.
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