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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 February 2008, 08:36 GMT
US stealth bomber crashes on Guam
A US Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bomber during refuelling, US Department of Defense file photograph from 2006
B-2 bombers evade radar signals, making them hard to attack
A US B-2 stealth bomber - one of the most expensive military aircraft in the world - has crashed at an air base on the Pacific island of Guam.

The United States Air Force (USAF) said both pilots had ejected safely before the plane came down at Andersen Air Force Base, shortly after take-off.

A spokeswoman said it was the first time a B-2 had crashed.

B-2 bombers, which can evade most radar signals, cost about $1.2bn (610m) each to build.

They have a range of 6,000 nautical miles (11,112 km) without refuelling and have seen service in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Map of Guam

Thick, black smoke could be seen coming from the wreckage following the crash.

Lieutenant Colonel Doug Smith from the USAF told the BBC that the crash would be investigated.

"The two pilots... ejected prior to the crash. One of them was medically evaluated and released and the other is in a stable condition at a naval hospital," he said.

Guam is a US territory 3,700 miles south-west of Hawaii. Its capital is Hagatna.



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