Continued grounding of B2 Spirit bombers is beginning to disrupt operations at air force base
A fleet of B-2 Spirit bombers that was grounded in December due to safety issues is still on stand-down today, and the lack of the bombers is reportedly beginning to cause disruptions in Air Force training.
The fleet of stealth bombers was grounded in late December due to a safety issue that caused one of the aircraft to make an emergency landing which damaged the plane. At the time, the Air Force Global Strike Command said the grounding of the fleet was temporary, but almost two months later, the bombers are still deemed unworthy to fly.
The fleet was scheduled to be a part of the Air Force’s annual Exercise Red Flag, a combat training exercise, in the beginning of 2023, but the B-2 air crew has been relegated to doing the Red Flag training on simulators. “What we’re doing is we’re injecting B-2 virtual tracks into our system so that they can be planned, executed, and debriefed to. But there’s no actual B-2s flying,” explained Col. Jared Hutchinson to Air & Space Forces Magazine.
The B-2 Spirit bombers are slated to be gradually replaced by Northrop Grumman’s newly-unveiled B-21 Raider over the next several years. The grounded planes were removed from the runway at Whiteman and are being inspected for safety concerns. The planes can be flown only in dire emergencies, according to the AFGSC.
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