Assault On The Serbs: First test for stealth bomber

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The Independent Online
CONCEIVED IN the Cold War and long cloaked in secrecy, the multi-billion-dollar B-2 stealth bomber got its first test in combat on Wednesday.

Two of the black, radar- evading jets attacked Yugoslav military targets, carrying 2,000lb (900kg) satellite-guided bombs capable of shattering hardened command facilities. Last night the US Defense Secretary, William Cohen, said the B-2s had "performed as advertised".

The stealth bombers, which look like angular boomerangs, each cost $2.1bn and are part of a 21-strong fleet built by Northrop Grumman with special materials to avoid detection by enemy radar.

Designers had to go back to the drawing board after it was alleged in a congressional report that the B-2's radar-absorbing coating was vulnerable to rain.

Gary Finn