Interessante questo commento sotto l'articolo:
on Jan 20, 2017
Maybe some of the readers missed the critical factor: payload. You can argue whether or not GBU-38's were needed, but assuming they were, a B-2 can haul and deliver 80 of them. A B-52? It can deliver 12 of them. A B-1? 15 of them. The USAF levelled the camp with 108 GBU-38's in their back pockets just in case, you know.
So do the math. Instead of Z2 B-2's, it would have meant 10 B-52s or 7 B-1's (OK, I skimped and only had the B-1's hypothetically launch 105 GBU-38's) to deliver the same ordinance. So we have 2 B-2's costing $257,610 per combined flight hour versus $670,050 for 10 B-52s's per combined flight hour and $409,416 per combined flight hour for the B-1's. For simplicity's sake, let's assume that they all trundle along at the same pace. We haven't counted in (I think) the need/cost for in-air refuelling, so the wear and tear on the KC-135's (or whatever they used) isn't factored in. As to the cost of launching an armada of carrier-based craft, it clearly wasn't the delivery choice for who knows how many reasons. Simply put, this was a cost-effective, if costly, decision. Encouraging to know that the USAF is. Ring cost-effective.