While you might catch a rare glimpse of them during an air show, it’s unlikely to see one of the Air Force’s odd-shaped stealth bombers careening through the skies. That is, maybe, until now. As tensions between China and the United States continue, the military branch announced it was building five new stealth bomber aircraft.
According to the U.S. Sun, the announcement was made during the Air Force’s Association’s annual conference. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said that they were in a deal with Northrop Grumman, an aerospace and defense technology company.
The B-2 aircraft was developed in the 1980s during a Cold War era with the Soviet Union. They were produced in order to infiltrate protected air space. If you’ve ever seen one soaring through the air, you understand just how eery they appear. Almost noiseless, the stealth bomber is slightly larger than a fighter jet. However, its wingspan is larger at 172 feet.
Additionally, the aircraft looks more like a UFO than an airplane. With a flat V-shape and sleek style, the plane is also one of the most expensive in the world. After the Cold War ended, stealth bombers were mainly retired. However, the U.S. still has about 20 functioning planes.
With technology, trade, and environment highly relevant topics, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said both the United States and China’s competitive nature could potentially cause another Cold War era.
“We need to avoid at all cost a Cold War that would be different from the past one, and probably more dangerous and more difficult to manage,” Guterres said.
However, with the construction of five new stealth bombers, the Air Force is showing its muscle and sending a clear message.
Air Force Builds New Weapon
In a not-so-secret move, the Air Force also recently announced a new laser weapon. This small tool is no joke, however. It can detonate explosives from over 1,000 feet away.
Additionally, the laser can be used to clear out bombs and landmines. It can also be attached to ground vehicles. The tool is called the Recovery of Airbase Denied by Ordinance (RADBO) system. In conjunction with the Air Force, civilian company Parsons is collaborating on the project.
The deal is part of a heft $40 million contract with Parsons to develop the system.
“The idea behind the RADBO is to allow airmen to clear threats from current or future airfields,” says C4ISRNET.
The system is set to be released in 2023, however, it’s unclear where the tool will be used.
Additionally, the advanced technology will allow the U.S. to clear out explosives enemies have dropped on U.S. airfields such as cluster bombs, artillery rounds, land mines, and more.