The U.S. Air Force (USAF) has sent its B-2 “Spirit” stealth strategic bomber on a long range mission to Pacific Command’s (PACOM) area of responsibility (AOR), the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) announced.
The aircraft took off from USAF’s Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, USA for the mission.
The deployment came amid rising tensions in the Korean peninsula following North Korea’s test launch of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Japan overflight of its ballistic missiles and its hydrogen bomb test.
The statement from STRATCOM added that these missions were conducted to demonstrate the country’s commitment to allies in the area.
— US Strategic Command (@US_Stratcom) October 29, 2017
Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is an American heavy penetration strategic bomber, featuring low observable stealth technology designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses.
The aircraft has a flying wing design with a crew of two.
The bomber can deploy both conventional and thermonuclear weapons, such as eighty 500 lb (230 kg)-class (Mk 82) JDAM Global Positioning System-guided bombs, or sixteen 2,400 lb (1,100 kg) B83 nuclear bombs.
The B-2 is the only acknowledged aircraft that can carry large air-to-surface standoff weapons in a stealth configuration.