B-21 Raider stealth bomber unveiled by U.S. Air ForceNews
December 05, 2022
PALMDALE, California. The U.S. Air Force has unveiled the B-21 Raider, a new long-range strike bomber that will serve as the "backbone of the modernized bomber fleet," the Air Force said in a statement.
The aircraft was unveiled Dec. 2 at Northrop Grumman's production facilities in California. The aircraft will gradually replace aging B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit bombers.
"According to design requirements, the B-21 is a long-range, highly survivable stealth bomber capable of delivering a mix of conventional and nuclear munitions," the statement reads. "The aircraft will play a major role supporting national security objectives and assuring U.S. allies and partners across the globe."
Currently, six aircraft are under construction.
"Each is considered a test aircraft, but each is being built on the same production line, using the same tools, processes, and technicians who will build production aircraft," the statement reads. "This approach has enabled production engineers and technicians to capture lessons learned and apply them directly to follow-on aircraft, driving home a focus on repeatability, producibility and quality."
There is not yet any timeline on first flight, or when the aircraft will enter service.
The Air Force says the aircraft is designed with open systems architecture to allow rapid future capability integration.