The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is also known as the "stealth bomber." Its smooth contours and special coatings are designed to help it elude enemy radars. Advocates boast the two-person Air Force platform can deliver 16 B83 nuclear bombs in a single pass through extremely dense anti-aircraft defenses. It is also the most expensive plane in history, checking in at $2.4 billion per copy. Designed to attack the mighty Soviet Union, the B-2's first combat mission was against the relatively puny Serbia. And the prospect of future manned bombers given all the costs associated with protecting its crew is growing increasingly questionable as unmanned drones become smarter.
For the inside story on America's military operations around the world, check out Mark Thompson's blog, Battleland: Where military intelligence is not a contradiction in terms.
Next B-1 Bomber