Warplanes: January 15, 2001

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During the 1999 bombing of Kosovo, B-2 bombers were used in combat for the first time. The B-2s are based in Missouri and required a 30 hour round trip to reach the Balkans. The B-2 was designed with this in mind, as the air force wanted to show that it could extend its reach world wide from bases in the United States. There's another reason for this; the B-2 requires special equipment between sorties to maintain it's stealthiness. But mindful of how this long distance limits the usefulness of the B-2, the air force is planning on establishing forward bases for the B-2 in Britain, Diego Garcia (an island south of the Persian Gulf) and Guam (in the Pacific). The B-2 requires a special hanger and cheaper versions of this structure have been designed. The cruise missiles and smart bombs the B-2 uses are already stockpiled at these bases. All that is really needed for the B-2 is the special hangers. The maintenance crews and their equipment can be

 


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