B-2 Spirits Flanked by F-35s Are the Definition of America’s Air Superiority

Although it is yet to prove its worth on the battlefield in a full-scale war (and, hopefully, it’ll never get that chance), America’s Air Force is, at least on paper, the most powerful in the world. As of 2021, the nation had in its arsenal over 5,200 active aircraft, the largest fleet in the world.
B-2 Spirits flying with F-35 Lightnings 23 photos
Photo: USAF/Tech. Sgt. Dylan Nuckolls
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American airplanes, although large numbers of them very old (like say the incredibly widespread F-16), are also the most technologically modern currently flying. What’s more, out of just four fifth-generation fighter jets available anywhere in the world, two are flying for America: the F-22 and F-35.

When it comes to the bomber fleet, the U.S. relies on the so-called Bomber Trifecta, comprising the B-1B Lancer, B-52 Stratofortress and B-2 Spirit. A large fleet of tankers back both fighters and bombers in their missions.

The USAF makes no secret of its superiority, and oftentimes releases images of its aircraft in action. It rarely manages to capture in a single pic the full essence of its overwhelming power, but when it does, like in the image we have here, the results are truly spectacular.

What you’re looking at is a still from exercise Koolendong 22, held over the Royal Australia Air Force Base (RAAF) Curtin Down Under in mid-July, and recently published by the military branch. It shows two B-2 Spirits, flying for the 509th Bomb Wing out of Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, flanked by two F-35A Lightning IIs flown by the RAAF. Before them flies the unspecified aircraft from which the photo was taken.

The planes were on a combined and joint force training exercise “focused on expeditionary advanced base operations,” but to these eyes they are the perfect expression of what the skies of the world would look like should America choose to go to full-scale war.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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