Friday, February 22, 2008

Your Tax Dollars At Work, Air Force Crashes a B-2

A US B-2 stealth bomber - one of the world's most expensive planes - has crashed for the first time on the Pacific island of Guam.

The jet crashed shortly after taking off from the island's Andersen Air Force Base, but both pilots ejected and survived, the US Air Force (USAF) said.

Black smoke could be seen billowing from the site, witnesses said.

The B-2 bomber costs $1.2 bn and is capable of deploying both conventional and nuclear weapons.

Crowds gathered as emergency vehicles attended the scene after the crash, which happened around 1045 local time (0045 GMT).

No mission details

Both pilots had been medically evaluated and were "in good condition", the USAF said.

B-2 bombers have seen service in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan

A board of officers will investigate the causes of the incident.

A brief USAF statement did not provide details of the bomber's mission in Guam, a US territory 6,000 km (3,700 miles) south-west of Hawaii.

The USAF has 21 B-2 bombers based at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, but several have been rotated through Guam since 2004.

The craft have been used for missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo.

Able to fly 6,000 nautical miles (11,100 kilometres) without refuelling, the B-2 can evade most radar signals making it difficult for defensive systems to detect, track and attack.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/02/23 05:46:57 GMT

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