In a testament to the United States military’s ability to innovate despite the incursion of woke ideologies, the first new American bomber in 30 years was unveiled Friday with one added milestone over foreign competitors.
Representatives from the Pentagon and military contractor Northrop Grumman held a joint conference Friday from the Air Force’s Plant 42 in Palmdale, CA where they introduced the world to the B-21 Raider. Named for the 1942 Doolittle Raid planned and led by then-Lt. Col. James Doolittle over Tokyo during WWII, the new stealth bomber was touted as the first sixth-generation aircraft to be seen by the public.
“This isn’t just another airplane. This isn’t just another acquisition,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said at the reveal. “It is a symbol and a source of the fighting spirit that President Reagan spoke of. It’s the embodiment of America’s determination to defend the republic that we all love. And it’s a testament to our strategy of deterrence with the capabilities to back it up every time and everywhere.”
The B-21 is a testament to the best of America’s vibrant and diverse industrial base. It’s this sort of advance that makes us great and this sort of advance doesn’t just happen. It takes investment. It takes cooperation. And it takes partnership. pic.twitter.com/4Gx1O1w009
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) December 3, 2022
🇺🇸 U.S. Air Force reveals the new stealth B-21 Raider intercontinental strategic bomber, produced by Northrop Grumman pic.twitter.com/ugXXDzTCUs
— AZ 🛰🌏🌍🌎 (@AZgeopolitics) December 3, 2022
Unveiled today, the B-21 Raider will be a dual-capable, penetrating-strike stealth bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions. The B-21 will form the backbone of the future Air Force bomber force consisting of B-21s and B-52s.(U.S. Air Force photo) pic.twitter.com/X6KSU7sy6U
— U.S. Air Force (@usairforce) December 3, 2022
“Fifty years of advances in low-observable technology have gone into this aircraft. Even the most sophisticated air defense systems will struggle to detect a B-21 in the sky,” he claimed while also stating, “We will soon fly this aircraft, test it, and then move it into production. And we will build the bomber force in numbers suited to the strategic environment ahead.”
Kathy Warden, CEO and president of Northrop Grumman, also touted the capabilities of the aircraft first commissioned in 2015 in a statement, “The Northrop Grumman team develops and delivers technology that advances science, looks into the futures and brings it to the here and now. The B-21 Raider defines a new era in technology and strengthens America’s role of delivering peace through deterrence.”
The statement from the military contractor went on to read, “When delivered to the Air Force, the B-21 will join the nation’s strategic triad as a visible and flexible deterrent; supporting national security objectives and assuring the nation’s allies and partners.”
That triad is also comprised of submarine-launched warheads and sil0-launched nuclear ballistic missiles. With an estimated cost of roughly $753 million per aircraft, the Pentagon expressed its desire to ultimately produce 100 of the B-21s. However, the final value will depend on the actual number purchased and records show the military had the same fleet size intended for the B-2 during its production from 1987 to 2000, but only 21 of the aircraft were ever built.
Similarly, while the production deadline was being lauded, Dan Grazier, senior defense policy fellow at the Project on Government Oversight, said of the six Raiders currently being built, “It might be a big challenge for us to do our normal analysis of a major program like this. It’s easy to say that the B-21 is still on schedule before it actually flies. Because it’s only when one of these programs goes into the actual testing phase when real problems are discovered.”
Little remains actually known about the bomber’s capabilities, but it is measurably smaller in size than the B-2, and Warden explained, “The way it operates internally is extremely advanced compared to the B-2, because the technology has evolved so much in terms of the computing capability that we can now embed in the software of the B-21.
Defense analysts have speculated the aircraft will use new propulsion technologies which is why the Raider remained mostly in the hangar during the unveiling to keep those aspects concealed from potential spying eyes.
Flights of the aircraft are scheduled to being in 2023 and the first training program and squadron for the bombers are intended to be housed at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota following the state’s bid led by Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD).
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