The U.S. Air Force released new artist renderings of the B-21 Raider concept on Jan. 21, 2020. The renderings show the B-21 in hangars at the three locations where the nation’s newest stealth bomber will be housed – Dyess Air Force Base, Ellsworth Air Force Base and Whiteman Air Force Base.
The B-21 Raider is a new bomber being developed to replace the Air Force’s aging B-1 Lancer and the B-2 Spirit aircraft. The B-21 will be a long-range, highly survivable bomber aircraft capable of carrying a variety of mixed conventional munitions or nuclear ordinance.
The B-21 Raider will be capable of penetrating the toughest defenses to deliver precision strikes anywhere in the world, playing a vital role in America’s national security.
The program, which has a mature and stable design, is transitioning to manufacturing development of the first test aircraft in Palmdale, California.
“The first flight of the Raider will take it from Palmdale to Edwards AFB, where the legacy of excellence will continue with the reactivation of the 420th Flight Test Squadron,” said Acting Secretary of the Air Force Matthew Donovan, during the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference, Sep. 16, 2019.
This legacy of excellence began on Jul. 17, 1989, when the B-2 Spirit, the world’s first stealth bomber, took off from Northrop Grumman’s production facility at Plant 42 in Palmdale and landed 112 minutes later at Edwards AFB for developmental testing by the 420th FLTS.
As stated by the U.S. Secretary of Defense, the B-21 Raider “will support America’s defense strategy by forming the backbone of the Air Force’s future strike and deterrent capabilities.”
The B-21 will join the nuclear triad as a visible and flexible nuclear deterrent; assuring our allies and partners while also supporting national security objectives. The Air Force plans to procure at least 100 B-21 Raiders.
Photo credit: U.S. Air Force
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