A bomber is a combat aircraft designed to attack ground and naval targets by dropping air-to-ground weaponry firing torpedoes and bullets or deploying air-launched cruise missiles.
Classification of Bomber Aircraft
Bomber are classified into two type
- Strategic Bomber: Strategic bombing is done by heavy bombers primarily designed for long-range bombing missions against strategic targets such as supply bases, bridges, factories, shipyards, and cities themselves.B-2 Spirit, B-52 Stratofortress, Tupolev Tu-95 ‘Bear’ are an example of Strategic Bomber
- Tactical Bomber: Tactical bombing, aimed at countering enemy military activity and in supporting offensive operations, is typically assigned to smaller aircraft operating at shorter ranges, typically near the troops on the ground or against enemy shipping. Xian JH-7, Mirage 2000D are the example of Tactical Bomber
list of Top 10 bomber aircraft in the World
1) B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber
B-2 Spirit is a long-range, low-observable, strategic, heavy stealth bomber. The aircraft can penetrate sophisticated and dense air-defense systems. The multirole bomber can carry 40,000lb of weapons payload. It can fly at an altitude of 50,000ft with a range of more than 6,000nm unrefueled and 10,000nm with one refueling.
2) Tupolev Tu-160 / Blackjack
The Tu-160 supersonic strategic bomber and missile carrier designed to deliver nuclear and conventional weapons. It can survive in all-weather, day-and-night conditions and can operate at all geographical latitudes. The aircraft can carry free-fall bombs up to 40t and has two weapon bays, which can hold 12 Kh-55MS missiles and up to 24 Kh-15P short-range nuclear missiles. It has in-flight refueling system and is powered by four Kuznetsov NK-32 turbofan engines. The maximum and cruise speeds of the aircraft are 2,220km/h and 960km/h respectively, and the range is 12,300km.
3) B-1B Lancer
B-1B Lancer is a long-range, strategic bomber. It is powered by four General Electric F101-GE-102 turbofan engines and can load 84 Mark 82 conventional 500lb bombs, or 30 CBU-87/89/97, or 24 JDAMS. It can also carry an AGM-69A nuclear short-range attack missile. The aircraft can fly at a speed of Mach 1.2 at sea level and can reach altitudes of more than 30,000ft.
4) B-52 Stratofortress
The B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range strategic heavy bomber It is the longest serving combat aircraft in the US military and supports air interdiction, maritime and offensive counter-air operations. It was used in missions such as Operation Iraqi Freedom.The maximum take-off weight of the aircraft is 488,000lbs. The new Stratofortress variant B-52H can carry free-fall bombs, cluster bombs, precision guided missiles and joint direct attack munitions, and has a mixed payload capacity of 70,000lbs. It can fly at speeds up to 650mph (1,046kmph) to an unrefueled range of more than 10,000 miles and altitudes of more than 50,000ft.
5) Tupolev Tu-22M
The Tu-22M bomber is a supersonic, long-range, strategic and maritime bomber. The aircraft carries a crew of four and can accomplish a maximum speed of 2,000km/h and maximum tactical range of 2,200km. The maximum take-off weight of the bomber is 124t.
6) Tupolev Tu-95 (Bear)
Tupolev Tu-95/Tu-95MS is a turboprop-powered strategic bomber and missile carrier. The Tu-95 can carry 23mm cannons and up to 15,000kg of combat load including air-to-surface missiles and bombs. The aircraft can attain a maximum speed of 830km/h and a range of 15,000km.
7) Xian H-6
The Xian H-6 (Hong-6) is a strategic bomber is a Chinese variant of the Tupolev Tu-16 bomber. The H-6’s internal weapon bay can house up to 9,000kg of 250kg-3,000kg-class general-purpose bombs or a single nuclear bomb. The bomber is also armed with two 23mm cannons and anti-ship/air-to-surface missiles. The aircraft has a cruise speed of 796 km/h (Mach 0.75), and can travel to a range of approximately 6,000km.
8) Sukhoi Su-24M (Fencer-D)
The Su-24M is the modern frontline bomber. It is designed for the bombardment of ground and naval surface targets through bombs and missiles. The Su-24M is armed with GSh-6-23M 23mm gun and can carry 8,000kg of combat load, including 120 S-8 80mm rockets in blocks and ten OFAB-500ShR 500kg or 16 OFAB-250ShN 250kg high-explosive fragmentation bombs. The aircraft has a maximum speed of 1,700km/h and can reach a distance of 2,850km when fitted with two petrol tanks.
9)Xian H-20 Bomber
The Xian H-20 is a subsonic stealth bomber design of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, due to enter service in the future. Referred to as a “strategic project” by the People’s Liberation Army, the aircraft will feature a wing design similar to that of the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, with components already being manufactured. Analysts noted that the new type bomber may enter service by 2025.
10) Xian JH-7
The Xian JH-7 also known as the FBC-1 is a Fighter/Bomber China-1 two-seat, twin-engine aircraft. The Maximum speed of Jh-7 is Mach 1.75 (1,808 km/h, 1,122 mph) and it can carry Payload of 9,000 kg