While there are many sorts of fighter jets in the world only a very limited few of them have been dubbed as Bomber aircraft. These bomber aircraft are equipped with the prowess to launch a massive ammunition payload with many of them being able to carry out the nuclear strikes.For our readers today, we have made a list of top 7 bomber aircraft of the world.
The list we have devised is based on the following feature of the individual bomber aircraft.
- Payload capacity
It is to be mentioned here that this list is comprised of only the operational bombers and not the ones that are currently in developmental stages.
Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is one of the US Air Force’s most prized possessions when it comes to aerial firepower. The aircraft’s design was presented back in the Cold War era and was developed in high secrecy.
At the moment, the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is considered to be the most expensive aircraft to be ever developed and there are only a mere 20 of these bad boys. All of these 20 Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirits are in service of US only. Not even the NATO allies are able to purchase this aircraft.
The aircraft’s specialty is that its unique design makes it completely undetectable to all kinds of radar. Majority of the avionics, as well as the sensors incorporated in the aircraft’s design, have been kept classified by the US.
The aircraft is able to carry almost 18000 kilograms of payload in following weapons form.
- Cruise Missiles
- Thermonuclear free-fall bombs
- Precision-guided bombs
The aircraft is able to fly at a top speed of Mach 3.2 for a range of 12000 kilometers with a need for refueling.
The next in line is the NATO’s designated or officially known as the Tupolev Tu-160 which was also developed during the Cold War era. The aircraft was developed by the Soviets and is now under Russian Air Force’s command. The aircraft’s design is quite similar to that of the B1-B Lancer and is considered to be the heaviest and the largest bomber aircraft to be ever built in the world.
The Tupolev Tu-160 is able to carry a wide array of following ammunitions weighing almost 40 tons.
- Air-to-ground attack missiles
- Can be fitted for either conventional or the nuclear warheads
- Free-fall bombs
The aircraft has a top speed of 2200 km/h with a range of 14500 kilometers without the need of refueling.
While the exact number of these aircraft is classified by Russia, it is believed that there are only 39 of these aircraft in the world and even Russia operates 16 of these massive bombers.
Rockwell B-1B Lancer
Another one of the prized jewels of the US aerial combat arsenals; the Rockwell B-1B Lancer is one of a kind strategic bomber that was enlisted of active duty back in 1968. The aircraft was developed to replace the B-52. It came with the ability to carry and fire nuclear missiles and was also equipped to have limited stealth capabilities. The aircraft’s speed and its countermeasure system against enemy Aerial defensive system made it one of the most successful bombers to be ever built.
The aircraft is able to carry a payload of nearly 34 tons which can be either missiles or bombs. The Rockwell B-1B Lancer is the only bomber aircraft of USAF with an ability to carry this much payload.
Nearly 100 of these Rockwell B-1B Lancers were built and at any given time, nearly 70- of these can be deployed at moment’s notice.
The Rockwell B-1B Lancer has a top speed of 1500 km/h with a range of 11900 kilometers.
Boeing B-52H Stratofortress
The Boeing B-52H Stratofortress was specially designed by the US military to carry and launch the nuclear weapons on its enemies. The aircraft has been in service of USAF since 1955 and a total of 772 of these massive bombers were manufactured at that time.
The aircraft has been constantly upgraded since its manufacturing and is only able to remain in service due to its amazing aerial performance and low operating costs.
At the moment nearly 85 of these Boeing B-52H Stratofortress are in active duty for the USAF.
This strategic bomber aircraft has the maximum weapons payload carrying capacity of 32 tons which includes weapons like
- Cruise missiles
- Precision-guided bombs
- Nuclear missiles
The top speed of Boeing B-52H Stratofortress is nearly 1046 km/h with a range of 18500 kilometers.
The Tupolev Tu-95 or better known by its NATO designation of “Bear” is the Russian Air Force bomber that entered in active duty of Soviet Union back in 1956. The aircraft is still the integral part of Russia’s long-range aerial combat prowess. The aircraft’s main design goal was to carry out nuclear strikes over the US territories.
The aircraft was built to carry a maximum payload of 15000 kilograms. Nowadays, these Tupolev Tu-95s have been remodeled to carry nearly 6 long-range Cruise missiles.
The top speed of the Tupolev Tu-95 is nearly 925 km/h with a range of 12500 kilometers. The upgraded model of this bomber now gives a range of 15000 kilometers.
Nearly 500 of these aircraft were manufactured by the Soviets. As for the redesigned versions they are named as Tu-95MS that entered in service back in 1984. At the moment there are nearly 60 of these Tu-95MS are in service of Russian Air Force.
Another of the Soviet era bomber which is currently serving for the Russian Air Force is the Tupolev Tu-22M which was classified to be a medium-range bomber.
The aircraft has the maximum payload carrying capacity of 24000 kilograms which includes following weapons.
- Freefall bombs
More than 570 of these bombers were manufactured and currently, 90 of them are in active duty of Russian Air Force and 50 of them serving for Russian Naval Aviation. This is also in service of the Indian Navy.
Last but not least on our list is the Xian H-6K which is designed based on the design of Russian Tu-16 bomber to be a medium-range bomber. The aircraft was developed by Chinese aviation engineers and nearly 150 of these bombers were manufactured.
A single Xian H-6K is able to carry a payload of 9000 kilograms which includes following weapons.
- Air-to-surface missiles
- Ari-to-ship missiles
- Free-fall bombs
Some variants are equipped to carry air-to-air cruise missiles as well as carry nuclear weapons.
The aircraft has a top speed of 1050 km/h with a range of 6000 kilometers.