BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Air Force Unveils B-21 Raider — Dubbed the “Most Advanced Military Plane Ever Built” — Featuring Advanced Stealth Technology Costing $750 Million Each
The United States Air Force has publicly unveiled its next-generation stealth bomber, which it has dubbed the “most advanced military aircraft ever built.”
Pentagon officials and representatives from contractor Northrop Grumman unveiled the B-21 Raider Friday night in a dramatic ceremony in Palmdale, California.
When a crew pulled back the sail over the sophisticated bomber, a cheer went up from the crowd of invitees, excited to catch a glimpse of the aircraft for the first time after years of anticipation.
Similar in form to the B-2, a “flying wing” design already in the Air Force’s inventory, the B-21 will also be capable of delivering nuclear weapons around the world due to its long-term capabilities. distance and in the air to refuel.
Each B-21, capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear bombs, was expected to cost about $550 million each in 2010 dollars, or about $750 million in today’s inflation-adjusted dollars.
Pentagon officials and representatives from contractor Northrop Grumman unveiled the B-21 Raider Friday night in a dramatic ceremony in Palmdale, California
Similar in form to the B-2, a “flying wing” design already in the Air Force inventory, the B-21 will also be capable of delivering nuclear weapons around the world due to its refueling capabilities long distance and in the air
The Air Force planned to purchase at least 100 of the aircraft and replace the B-1 and B-2 bombers.
The agency has estimated that the program will likely cost at least $203 billion over 30 years to develop, acquire and maintain the B-21 fleet.
Northrop beat a team consisting of Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp when it won the contract to make the bomber in 2015 alongside suppliers including engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, Collins Aerospace, GKN Aerospace, BAE Systems and Spirit Aerosystems.
Northrop calls the aircraft a sixth-generation aircraft, given its ability to connect to other aircraft and easily integrate future weapons into its system architecture.
It also features more durable stealth material with a low observable surface that requires less maintenance and minimizes operational costs and downtime, Doug Young, industry vice president and general manager at Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems, told Reuters in an interview.
The U.S. Air Force finally unveiled its secret B-21 stealth bomber aircraft in Palmdale, California, on Friday.
The B-21 Raider will replace the $2 billion B-2 Spirit per aircraft – and has a smaller wingspan and a $639 million price tag. Unlike its predecessor, the B-21 can perform unmanned bomber and surveillance missions anywhere in the world
The rollout at Northrop’s Plant 42 in Palmdale yielded the first photos of the new bomber. Only artistic renderings have been published so far.
Six of the planes, which are due for their maiden flight in mid-2023, are in various stages of assembly. More than 8,000 people from Northrop Grumman, industrial partners and the Air Force are working today on the program, which consists of more than 400 suppliers in 40 states.
Developing story, more to follow.