Firefighters at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri extinguished a fire at the scene, Staff Sgt. Alexandria Lee, a spokesperson for the 509th Bomb Wing, said Monday. No one was hurt and an investigation is ongoing.
Whiteman is home to the service’s fleet of 20 B-2s, though it’s unclear how many of the jets currently are operational. Eight recently marched down the runway in a display of strength ahead of the Air Force’s reveal of its new B-21 Raider bomber.
Another Spirit bomber had a similar accident in September 2021, when it skidded off the runway and came to rest with its left wing on the ground. The Air Force did not answer whether that aircraft has returned to regular operations.
The two-pilot B-2 ― the U.S. military’s most capable nuclear bomber ― has been in service since 1993. Each airframe cost $1.2 billion to buy at the time.
The radar-evading jets can fly between continents without needing to refuel and can carry up to 40,000 pounds of munitions. The Air Force plans to retire the fleet within the next decade.
Rachel Cohen is the editor of Air Force Times. She joined the publication as its senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), Air and Space Forces Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy and elsewhere.