What the B-2 Has Done, Can Do Now, And Just Might Do Later
By Harold Hutchison
Arguably the most expensive combat aircraft ever built, the B-2 Spirit by Northrop Grumman is perhaps one of the deadliest. The B-2 can deliver 16 2,000-pound GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, GPS-guided bombs, and the only warning the target will have is when the bombs hit the target.
Costing $737 million base price and a whopping $2 Billion each when research and development and manufacturing costs are included, the program was halted at 21 aircraft in 1997 – much lower than the planned procurement of 165 airframes. That decision was made even as Northrop Grumman had said it could produce more B-2s at a fly-away cost of $566 million each.