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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: GD
I read War is Boring, POGO, and lately Task & Purpose for the laughs. Last year, they flew a pair of B-2s from Missouri to Libya, and back to Missouri. They bombed a command post and weapons caches. It was all "Murica!" "Go us!" and "Yay B-2s!"
T&P today ran an article asking why they used the most expensive stealth aircraft ever built, with all the bells and whistles, to blow up AK-47s and RPGs. What really made me laugh is that they pointed out that because of the range to the target, they'd have to refuel in flight.
Ok, let's look at this. It was about a 2000 mile round trip. Figure four refuelings, two inbound, two outbound. Probably two tankers at each AR. Those tankers would have been there regardless, supporting other coalition aircraft.
Now, the B-2 mission. When the B-2s were bombing Iraq from Missouri and going back, they required as many as 14 refuelings. Two tankers per bomber. Even if the tankers landed after the first refueling, took on more fuel and swapped crews for the bomber return leg, that's up to 28 tankers that aren't able to do other things or refuel other aircraft.