Three U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bombers which started from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, in the early hours of Aug. 11, 2020, have reached the remote island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. The aircraft flew west from their home base and over the Pacific Ocean, moving over Hawaii and then across northern Australia before continuing west to the island airbase. The launch of this B-2 mission, which saw the aircraft using the callsigns Reaper 11, Reaper 12, and Reaper 13, follows the deployment of six USAF B-52Hs earlier this year to the same base.
Diego Garcia is one few locations that have the infrastructure to support B-2s and it has four climate-controlled clamshell hangars known as B-2 Shelter Systems specially designed to accommodate B-2s The deployment comes at a time when the tension in the South China Sea region is rising and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy or PLAN is expected to stage a series of exercises that will likely simulate attacking and taking over Taiwanese islands in the region. In this video, we will analyze how the U.S has checkmated China by deploying 3 B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber in Diego Garcia? Let’s get into the details. China has maintained a very high economic growth over the last 20 years & has become a major economic power. It has spent heavily on military buildup & modernized its military forces. China’s rise, as predicted by many experts is not peaceful. In recent times,
China has been very aggressive in its posturing and its activities are far off from being a sensible nation. China’s corrosive behaviors in the SouthChina Sea and neighboring areas have been increasing every day. China claims almost 90% of the South ChinaSea through its so-called nine-dash line map. It says that it has "indisputable sovereignty" over the area. China has tried imposing a unilateral decision as per which all ships & aircraft navigating in the area need to identify itself to the Chinese military. Not only this, but YJ-12 Anti Ship Missile and HQ-9 Surface to Air missiles have also been deployed in some of the islands in the South China Sea. China has also been threatening Taiwan and wants to bring it to its fold even if requires military action. The B-2 Spirit was developed to take over the United States Air Force’s vital penetration missions, able to travel deep into enemy territory to deploy their ordnance, which could include nuclear weapons. The B-2 is a flying wing aircraft, meaning it has no fuselage or tail.
The blending of low-observable technologies with high aerodynamic efficiency and large payload gives the B-2 significant advantages over previous bombers. Stealth capability provides greater freedom of action as the bomber can evade enemy air defenses. As of today, no country has a bomber like the B 2 Spirit, and actually, no country has even developed a true stealth fighter other than the U.S Currently, only Russia may have the radar technology to detect B 2, though the effectiveness in real-life scenarios is suspect. Viewers may also note that to engage an aircraft with missiles detection is not enough and quality tracking is required. B 2 Spirit has a maximum speed of Mach 0.95. The U.S. Air Force reports B2’s range as approximately 6,900 miles or 11,000 km.
This means Beijing is well within the range of B-2s stationed in Diego Garcia. B2 has an excellent payload, which makes even a single one be extremely destructive. It has 2 internal bays for ordnance and payload with an official limit of 40,000 lb or 18,000 kg and a maximum estimated limit of 50,000lb or 23,000 kg. So it can have different weapons configuration, which is noted as follows: 1. 80× 500 lb class bombs like Mk-82 or GBU-382. 36× 750 lb CBU class bombs3. 16× 2,000 lb class bombs like Mk-84 or GBU-314. AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) and AGM-158Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) 5. Two GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetratorcan be carried. Its payload enables it to carry not only a huge amount of conventional bombs but also nukes. Each B2 can carry 16 B61 or B83 nuclear bombs on the Rotary Launcher Assembly (RLA).
The B61 nuclear bomb is the primary thermonuclear gravity bomb in the U.S. cache. It is a low to intermediate-yield strategic and tactical nuclear weapon featuring a two-stage radiation implosion design. The weapon is 3.56 m or 11 ft 8 in long, with a diameter of about 13 inches. Its basic weight is about 320 kg or 700 pounds, although the weights of individual weapons may vary depending on version and fuze/retardation configuration. The B61 is a variable yield, kiloton-range weapon. Tactical versions (Mods 3, 4, and 10) can be set to 0.3, 1.5, 5, 10, 45, 60, 80, or 170 kilotons explosive yield. The strategic version (B61 Mod 7) has 4 yield options, with a maximum of 340 kilotons. The B83 thermonuclear weapon is a variable-yield gravity bomb developed by the United States in the late 1970s, entering service in 1983. The bomb is 3.7 meters or 12 ft long, with a diameter of 18 inches.
The bomb weighs approximately 1,100 kilograms or 2,400 pounds. With a maximum yield of 1.2 megatons of TNT, it is the most powerful free-fall nuclear weapon in the United States arsenal. To give viewers a perspective here is a comparison. Trinity Test in New Mexico in July 1945, which lead the world into the nuclear age, had a yield of 20-kilotons. Hiroshima's "Little Boy" bomb had a yield of 13-18 kilotons whereas Nagasaki's "Fat Man" bomb had a yield of 20–22 kilotons of TNT. Deploying B-2 stealth bombers to Diego Garciameans the U.S. Air Force has a very powerful asset that can be quickly employed for a mission in the region if required. China has several air defense systems the most potent of which is the Russian made S 400 and the best bet against B-2 Spirit.
China became the first foreign buyer of S-400 when a $3 billion deal for the delivery of six S-400 battalions—a total of 36 launchers was signed. But Russia has halted the delivery of critical components of S-400 air defense systems to China. This comes as China faces a global backlash due to the raging pandemic, its action on Hong Kong, and military standoff with India. It was reported that China received its firstS-400 shipment in May 2018, but several components including missiles are yet to be delivered. Also, Russia is yet to provide some onsite training and installation that will enable China’s S-400 systems to be operationally deployed.
Technically this means China is defenseless against B-2Spirit and the aircraft could be used to penetrate Chinese airspace. In a mission like this, B2 could also be escorted by F 22 Raptor. F 22 is far more capable than any fighter jet China possesses and will be able to knock down any Chinese fighter jet that may try to intercept the B 2. Keeping this in view, B2 Spirit will be able to fly deep and strike without much hindrance. And when even of one of these get through, the destructive power is enough to create havoc.