Watch a fascinating and informative documentary that profiles one of America's greatest military aircraft: the B-2 stealth bomber. In this segment you'll learn about the B-2's Mission.
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Learn about The B-2's Mission Male: The B-2's Mission used to penetrate heavily defended areas, drop precision guided munitions and extract itself without ever being detected. Steve Basham: That would be the ultimate capable building to be able to go in undetected and leave undetected. However, there is one unique aspect of all bombers. If you’re going in you’re in, you’re more than likely going into dropout and something so right of the back as soon as mom start going or someone is going to know there is an aircraft in the sky. So, as you’re leaving the country, really what you’re looking for now is that ability to sneak back out of the country. Male: The power of stealth was demonstrated fully in the 1991 Gulf War. F-117A Nighthawk strike aircraft destroyed military targets deep in the heart of Baghdad without ever being detected. At that time, Baghdad have the most sophisticated grid of interlocking defensive and anti-aircraft radar systems ever field. During the course of the war, F-117A aircraft engaged targets in a rock 1271 times and lost zero aircraft. This was due almost entirely until the F-117A Stealth radar cross section that the B-2 has an even smaller radar cross section with less detectible LO characters paired with a bomb capacity eight times that of the F-117 is a testament to its potential. Steve Basham: The B-2 as a stealth aircraft is designed to basically kick down the door to open up that entry way for other aircraft. Male: Any B-2 mission begins with planning. Positions have known radars sites as well as any missile sites and intercept aircraft have to be planned. The B-2 deflects some radar and absorbs some radar, but it is not impervious. For this reason, B-2 pilots must determine the best route for no radar positions known as the cord. Ryan Huckabay: The B-2 enables us to pull the wall over the enemy’s eyes as significantly dark in his view. So with that in mind, there maybe advantages to making different turns in going different directions and route to the target with the bomber to enable us to accomplish the mission. Male: The amount of radar an aircraft reflects is called its Radar Cross Section or RCS. As aircraft approach radar sites, they encounter more radar energy which increases RCS. This means that an aircraft which is undetectable at long range becomes detectable at close range. Defensive radar networks are setup around strategic areas using multiple radar sites. The size of an aircraft’s radar cross section and it’s proximity to the radar site determines when it can be detected. All of this is taken into consideration so that the individual radar site zones of detection are overlapped effectively creating a wall of radar. Because the B-2’s radar cross section is so much smaller than all other military aircraft, it can only be detected at extremely close range. Thus, the overlapping zones of radar which detect all other aircraft are useless against the B-2 and the radar wall develops holes through which the B-2 slits. Once over the target, the B-2 releases bombs which are individually targeted and self0guiding. Rob Southerland: Typically, like I said we’d all get down. We go in first and lead the way for other aircraft’s with a larger radar signature to come in and strike targets to drop those unguided weapons. Male: Thus, the B-2 can arrive over its target unannounced, release fire and forget weapons and leave craters as the only evidence of its presence.

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