A bomber is a military aircraft designed to attack ground and sea targets, by dropping bombs on them, or – in recent years – by launching cruise missiles at them.
Strategic bombers are primarily designed for long-range bombing missions against strategic targets such as supply bases, bridges, factories, shipyards, and cities themselves, in order to damage an enemy's war effort. Current examples include the nuclear-armed: B-2 Spirit, B-52 Stratofortress, Tupolev Tu-95 'Bear', Tupolev Tu-22M 'Backfire'; historically notable examples are the: Gotha G, Avro Lancaster, Heinkel He-111, Junkers Ju 88, B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, B-29 Superfortress, and Tupolev Tu-16 'Badger'.
Tactical bombing, aimed at enemy's military units and installations, is typically assigned to smaller aircraft operating at shorter ranges, typically along the troops on the ground or sea. This role is filled by various aircraft classes, as different as light bombers, medium bombers, dive bombers, fighter-bombers, ground-attack aircraft, multirole combat aircraft, among others. Current examples: F-15E Strike Eagle, F/A-18 Hornet, Sukhoi Su-34 'Fullback', Chengdu J-10, Xian JH-7, Dassault-Breguet Mirage 2000, and the Panavia Tornado; historical examples: Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik, Junkers Ju 87 Stuka, P-47 Thunderbolt, Hawker Typhoon, and F-4 Phantom II.
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