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Top 7 Bombers


   Often we receive many questions which is the best bomber aircraft in the world. Which is the greatest modern bomber and why. Our Top 10 analysis is based on the combined score of stealthiness, armament, payload, speed, range and technology. All of these bombers mentioned here are incredibly deadly and devastating. Our analysis is based on specifications, available data and technical comparison. This list do not contains bombers that are currently under development of at the prototype stage. It includes only operational warplanes.

   Currently top 7 bombers in the world are these:



World's Most Powerful Bombers

Nr.1 Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit (USA)


   The black, bat-like B-2 Spirit is the silver bullet of US policy, reserved for use against targets of the highest priority. This strategic bomber was designed during the Cold War. The whole development programme was kept in high secrecy.

   Currently the B-2 is the most expensive aircraft ever built. The USAF operates only 20 of these strategic bombers due to their high price. This advanced aircraft was never offered for sale to any other country, even NATO allies.

   The B-2 is almost invisible to radars due to its sophisticated design and radar-absorbent coating. It can easily overcome enemy air defense. Many of sensors and avionics of this warplane remain classified. Also it has a classified electronic warfare system.

   This plane carries a powerful array of weaponry. It can carry about 18 000 kg of combat payload, including cruise missiles, thermonuclear free-fall bombs, and precision-guided bombs. It can fly over 12 000 km without the need to refuel.

   Currently the B-2 Spirit is the best bomber ever built.



Best Bomber

Nr.2 Tupolev Tu-160 (Russia)


   The Tupolev Tu-160 (NATO designation Blackjack) was developed during the Cold War. This strategic bomber was intended to attack the most important American targets. Dwarfing the similar-looking B-1B Lancer, it is the largest and heaviest combat aircraft ever built.

   The Tu-160 carries cruise and land attack missiles, fitted with conventional or nuclear warheads. This bomber can also carry free-fall bombs with a maximum weight of up to 40 t in place of the missiles. It has a range of 14 500 km.

   It is believed that production totaled no more than 39 aircraft. This aircraft was extremely expensive to build and to maintain. Some sources claim that Russia currently operates only 16 of these strategic bombers.



Best Bombers

Nr.3 Rockwell B-1B Lancer (America)


   The B-1B Lancer is a strategic bomber, that entered service in 1986. Originally it was designed as a replacement for the B-52. The Lancer is capable of carrying nuclear weapons. This aircraft has some degree of stealthiness. It uses comprehensive countermeasures systems and can overcome sophisticated enemy air defense systems.

   The B-1B can carry up to 34 000 kg of missiles or bombs internally. The Lancer can carry more payload than any other US bomber. With the end of the Cold War, the B-1B lost its nuclear strike role and was re-roled instead for conventional warfare.

   A total of 100 B-1B have been built. Currently around 70 Lancers are available for operations at any one time. It is expected to remain in service until at least 2030 when it will; be replaced by the next generation bomber.



Most advanced bomber

Nr.4 Boeing B-52H Stratofortress (USA)


   The B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber was designed to carry nuclear weapons. It has been in service with the US Air Force since 1955. A total of 744 B-52 strategic bombers of all versions have been built. Since its introduction the Stratofortress was constantly upgraded. The B-52H is the ultimate model. Despite the introduction of newer aircraft the B-52 remains operational due to its superior performance and low operating costs. Currently 85 of these bombers are active with the US Air Force. It will continue to give valuable service well into the 21st century. The type is planned to remain active until 2044.

   The B-52 has been used in several wars, however to date it dropped only conventional munitions. This strategic bomber can carry up to 32 000 kg of weapons, including cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs. This plane has a range of 18 500 km without the need to refuel.



The deadiest bomber

Nr.5 Tupolev Tu-95 (Russia)


   The turboprop-powered Tu-95 strategic bomber (NATO designation Bear) entered service in 1956 and remains an important part of Russia's long range air power. Originally this bomber was designed to carry nuclear bombs to the US territory. It can carry about 15 000 kg of payload. Now updated models of the Bear carry 6 long-range cruise missiles. The Bear has un unrefueled range of about 12 500 km. With the later models range was improved to about 15 000 km.

   Over 500 of these aircraft were built. The current bomber/missile carrier version is the Tu-95MS. This entered service in 1984 and was manufactured until 1992. Currently about 60 Tu-95MS aircraft are in service with the Russian Air Force. It remains the only turboprop-powered strategic bomber in use. Despite its age the type will remain in service until at least 2040.



Top bombers

Nr.6 Tupolev Tu-22M (Russia)


   The Tu-22M was developed from the earlier Tu-22 design, incorporating variable-geometry outer wing panels. This aircraft lacks sufficient range for truly strategic missions and is classified as a medium-range bomber. Tu-22M bombers operated by the Soviet Naval Aviation were intended to engage US carrier battle groups.

   This bomber carries up to 24 000 kg of payload, including missiles and free-fall bombs.

   Over 570 of Tu-22M aircraft of all versions have been built. The Tu-22M3 is the latest version and remains numerically the most important bomber in the Russian air force's Long-Range Air Army inventory. About 90 of these bombers are currently in service with the Russian Air Force. 58 more are operated by the Russian Naval Aviation. This aircraft is also in service with the Indian Navy.



Top Bombers

Nr.7 Xian H-6K (China)


   The basic Xian H-6 was a license-produced version of the Soviet Tu-16 medium-range bomber. At least 150 of these bombers were built. The H-6 can carry 9 000 kg of payload, including various air-to-surface, air-to-ship missiles or free-fall bombs. Some of the versions can carry air-launched cruise missiles. This bomber can deliver nuclear weapons. Over 100 of these bombers are still in service with China.

   The latest H-6K evolved into a long-range strategic bomber. This aircraft entered service within the last couple of years.

   This bomber has new engines and carries more fuel for longer range. It is armed with air-launched cruise missiles under its wings. It is believed that aircraft has significantly improved avionics, search and attack radar, navigation, fire control, and weapon precision.

   The H-6K is capable of attacking US carrier battle groups and priority targets in Asia. It also has a nuclear strike capability.



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