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A bomber is any aircraft whose primary function is to drop bombs from the air onto a target on the ground or at sea. As such, a bomber is the airborne equivalent of artillery.

Aerial bombardment began during World War I with the deployment by the Germans of the hydrogen-filled rigid airship, or zeppelin. But not until World War II did such bombardment become a decisive factor in war. The decisiveness of the Allied bomber forces is due as much to the massive amounts of high-explosive and incendiary bombs they dropped in Europe and in the Pacific as to the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Bombers—often armed with nuclear weapons—formed part of the Strategic Nuclear Triad during the Cold War, and always formed a key element of the firepower of the Strategic Air Command.