Yesterday, the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) confirmed that three B-2 stealth bombers from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri had been deployed to the Naval Support Facility on the remote island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. The aircraft departed the Missouri base on Tuesday and arrived on Diego Garcia following a 29-hour sortie.
With a sticker price of $2 billion, the B-2 Spirit bomber is the most advanced bomber in the US airforce. Its sleek design is reminiscent of the B-35 bomber originally developed by James Northrop in the 1940s.
The B-2 was developed in the 1980s in order to carry and deploy nuclear bombs deep into Soviet territory during the Cold War, in the event of military escalation. However, after its first flight in 1989, the B-2 has never entered Russian airspace since. That isn’t to say that the B-2 has not seen any combat. Operating out of the Whiteman Air Force Base since 1993, the B-2’s first taste of operational experience came during the 1999 Kosovo War.