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B-2A Spirit

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B-2A Spirit
B-2
Role Bomber
Operators Coup d'état forces (AC)
Usean Rebel Forces
Federal Erusian Air Force
Yuktobanian Air Force
Belkan Air Force
A World With No Boundaries
Leasath Air Force
Golden Axe Plan Private Army
United States Air Force
Aces/Squadrons Vulkan (Vulcan) (AWWNB)
Felsen (Rock) (AWWNB)
Manufacturers Northrop Grumman
Appearances Air Combat
Ace Combat 2
Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies
Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War
Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception
Ace Combat: Joint Assault
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon
Ace Combat Infinity
"Negative contact, nothing on my radar."
― Allied pilot in AC04
"Look harder! The B-2s are difficult to detect on radar, they're stealth."
― AWACS SkyEye
The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is a stealth bomber capable of penetrating enemy airspace, delivering conventional or nuclear munitions with pinpoint accuracy and exiting again with the destruction in its wake the only indication of its presence. It's the most advanced, most expensive and least numerous military aircraft ever built: Only 21 are in operation, costing $2.2 billion a piece.

HistoryEdit

In the 1970s, a seemingly hopeless effort was being made to find a replacement for the powerful but vulnerable Boeing B-52 Stratofortress heavy strategic bomber, one that could destroy targets with as little collateral damage as possible and escape virtually untouched.

ConceptionEdit

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, with the Soviet Union suffering political and civil unrest on an unprecedented scale, the Joint Chiefs of Staff felt that the Eastern Bloc might try to seek out new territory to stabilize its internal strife. Possible targets were considered, the most immediate of course being China for its manpower, the Middle East for its immense reserves of oil and Japan for its technological prowess. But the most frightening possible target was that part of the United States geographically closest to the threat: Alaska.

With Soviet air defense technology rapidly advancing, and taking into account the Soviet Union's desperate social situation, the need for an aircraft that could penetrate enemy airspace, release its payload and return to base undetected was, at the time, deemed urgent. The US Air Force had already tried several options, including the XB-70 Valkyrie extreme-altitude bomber and the B-1 Lancer strategic bomber. But there were two major problems with these aircraft: The altitudes at which the XB-70 was expected to fly would decrease accruacy to the point that attacking would be all but impossible, and the B-1's standard chassis made it easily detectable by radar. Clearly, something new was needed.

In 1979, after Ronald Reagan won the Presidential election, the Advanced Technology Bomber, as it was known at the time, was redesignated the Black Project, for which funding was provided under the codename Aurora. Several major companies entered the competition, which was narrowed to the Boeing-Northrop and Lockheed-Rockwell teams. In the end, the blueprint submitted by Boeing and Northrop Grumman became the winning design, and the team netted a contract for $1.8 billion to produce and test a prototype. The aircraft was brought to public attention for the first time in 1993, and due to secrecy precautions, spectators were only allowed to view it from one angle.

Development of the aircraft, then designated the B-2 Spirit, or "Stealth Bomber," continued throughout the 1990s, but the collapse of the United States' chief political and military rival in 1991 put the entire project into question. Under political pressure and public opposition, the original order of 132 was reduced by 45% to 75 aircraft, which was later reduced 70% to just 21 in 2001. The reason for this decision is a very good one: Each aircraft cost $2.2 billion to construct, and nearly $150,000 for every minute it spends in flight.

DeploymentEdit

Today, the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber's mission profile is very different than that originally envisioned for it. The aircraft has played a pivotal role in global peacekeeping operations since its first official combat sortie during the conflict between Serbia and Bosnia in 1999, and now flies against known Taliban and Al-Qaeda strongholds in the Middle East nations of Afghanistan and Iraq.

LegacyEdit

The B-2 is just the first in a line of many proposed future bomber aircraft. It is known that the stealth bomber will be in operation until 2040, though it's possible that decision may be changed at a future date. The aircraft is one of the greatest achievements in aviation history, and its design is now known to be the future of aviation.

DesignEdit

SpecificationsEdit

The B-2 Spirit's design is remarkable. Its radar cross-section is supposedly near that of a sparrow.

  • Dimensions (length, height, wingspan): 69'4"x17'2"x172'9"
  • Maximum Speed (cruise, combat): 487 mph (1071 kph, 405 knots); 630 mph (1386 kph, 525 knots)
  • Operational Ceiling: 50,000 feet (15,151 m)
  • Turning Radius: 9500 feet (2878 m)
  • Weight (empty, loaded): 158,000 lbs (71,700 kg); 336,500 lbs (152,200 kg)
  • Powerplant: 4xGeneral Electric F118-GE-100 non-afterburning turbofans
  • Crew: 2

ArmamentEdit

The B-2 has two separate rotating racks inside is single bombay, each capable of holding up to 30,000 pounds (13,636 kg) of conventional and/or nuclear munitions and releasing them quickly to minimize the length of time its outline is disrupted by the opening of its bombay doors.

  • 80xMk 82 500 pound freefall bomb
  • 36xCBU-89 750 pound freefall bomb
  • 16xMk 84 JDAM-series 2000 pound GPD-guided bomb
  • 16xB61/B83 independent nuclear freefall bomb
  • 16xAGM-158 joint air-to-surface standoff missile (JASSM)

Appearances in the Ace Combat SeriesEdit

Air Combat 22Edit

In Air Combat 22, the B-2A appears as an enemy aircraft.

Ace Combat 04: Shattered SkiesEdit

In Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, the B-2A is an stealth bomber used by the Federal Erusian Air Force. In mission 8 ("Shattered Skies"), a squadron of Spirits is dispatched to level the ISAF rocket launch facility in the Comona Islands in the second half of the mission. The bombers are able to disguise their radar signature, albet for limited periods of time before being forced to reveal their position again.

Ace Combat 5: The Unsung WarEdit

B-2A Spirits were used by the Yuktobanian Air Force to launch Cruise Missiles at the Mass Driver during their attack on Basset Space Center during their attempt to stop the SSTO Space Module from taking off from the mass driver to join with the Arkbird, the Spirits failed and were shot down and their cruise missiles destroyed.

Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan WarEdit

Two TGT marked B-2As appear in Operation: Cannibal during the attack of the industrial city of Hoffnung in Belkan territory. Another Two B-2As appear during the attack on the Heavy Command Cruiser XB-0 Hresvelgr.

Ace Combat: Joint AssaultEdit

Three B-2As appeared during the Valahia Crisis while it wanted to bomb San Francisco in Mission 21A "Reprisal".

Ace Combat: Assault HorizonEdit

In Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, the B-2A Spirit is used in the main campaign by NATO's Task Force 108. Alongside the B-1B Lancer, it is one of the two only bombers usable in mission 11, "Launch". Both aircraft have very similar statistics. Like the Lancer, it carries MUGBs and GPBs as its main weapons; however the B-2 carries less ammunition for either weapon, therefore it has maximum defense. The Spirit, like its counterpart, is completely defenseless outside flares against direct air attacks.

In multiplayer, the B-2A is a playable aircraft in Capital Conquest. Once the enemy HQ's health reaches a certain point, a particular player will be granted the chance to respawn piloting a Spirit, and must use it to engage in an ASM bombing run.

SkinsEdit

  • Color 1: Night black with "Spirit of America" text
  • Color 2: Grey digital camouflage

Ace Combat InfinityEdit

Multiple B-2 bombers, escorted by multiple F-22A Raptor, may appear during Mission Update in Aerospace Center Defense. They are worth 4,000 points each.

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

  • The two B-2 aces in Ace Combat Zero's "The Talon of Ruin" (Felsen and Vulkan) are described in their Assault Records files as being "sent to escort the XB-0 Hresvelgr." It is surprising to see a Spirit on an air-to-air escort mission, due to the fact that Spirits can only carry ground attack ordnance. It is possible that they were being used to cover the XB-0 from SAMs or AA Guns. Another possibility is that two may have been used to draw attention away from the XB-0. A similar case is presented in another mission of the same game, Operation: Cannibal, (referred in game as The Inferno), where two regular (non-ace) B-2As are part of a Belkan stealth formation sent to destroy the Allied Forces destroying the city of Hoffnung.
  • Each B-2 in service has a name starting with "Spirit" ex. the B-2 in Assault Horizon is the "Spirit of America" (it can be seen in on the B-2 skin 1 in custom paint on the bomb bay area) The "Spirit of America" and was actually the first B-2 to enter active service.

SourcesEdit

  1. Air Force Link
  2. Screenshots: http://worthplaying.com/article/2011/3/2/news/80148/

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