The United States has already sent an unmistakable message to Russia with our B-2. In 2011, as Ukraine issues began to heat up, the US sent a pair of B-2s to Europe on a short range mission. The Air Force claimed that the purpose was to train with their allies, but the message was quite clear. The B-2 has significant advantages over existing bombers like the B-52.
The B-2 touts revolutionary technology with low observation capabilities and high aerodynamic efficiency. The low observability is particularly essential as Russian’s anti-air systems become more sophisticated. The combination of induced infrared, acoustic, electromagnetic, visual and radar signatures are wait make this stealth bomber so stealthy. It makes the plane highly survivable and allows the aircraft to penetrate even the most sophisticated adversary defenses.
Another key function the B-2 boasts is its impressive range. It has a fuel capacity of 167,000 pounds making it capable of traveling approximately 6000 nautical miles without being refueled. The aircraft flies at subsonic speeds, but can reach altitudes of up to 50,000 feet. This enhances the B-2s targeting capabilities. Along the same lines of targeting, it can also receive targeting information in the air. Due to recent upgrades of the aircraft, B-2s can receive presidential orders directly, even in a post-nuclear detonation environment.
To put the icing on the cake, the B-2 carries an enormous payload. Each stealth bomber can carry 20 tons – or 40,000 pounds – of conventional or nuclear weapons to drop on enemy assets. This means that the B-2 bomber is the only aircraft in the US arsenal capable of carrying the 30,000 pound GBU-57 Massive Ordinance Penetrator – or MOP. The GBU-57 MOP can supposedly penetrate 200 feet of solid concrete before even exploding. What this means for Russia is that they can run, but they can surely not hide from this stealth bomber.