On the 2nd of December, the U.S. Air force revealed on the newest bomber to be added to their fleet – the B-21 Raider Bomber
The B-21 is the first bomber to come into service since 1988 when its predecessor, the B-2 Spirit was unveiled also by Northrop Grumman. The B-21 Raider has a similar appearance to the B-2 Spirit, with a bat-shaped body, slightly smaller than its predecessor.
According to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, the aircraft will enter into service later this decade, when it begins to replace the B-1 and B-2 bombers already in service.
The first B-21 Raider aircraft was showcased in Plant 42, which is the U.S. Air Force’s advanced aircraft research and development facility based in Palmdale, California. The U.S. Air force calls the aircraft its first “Sixth-generation” aircraft and is the first in the world.
The U.S. Air force has also describes the B-21 Raider as a long-range, highly survivable, penetrating strike stealth bomber with an open architecture, allowing the aircraft to be later updated with the latest weapons / electronics in due course.
The U.S. Air Force aims to build at least 100 B-21 Raiders, in which they will replace 20 B-2 Spirit and 45 B-1B Lancer bombers.
However, that number is likely to go up given the current ongoing nuclear weapons buildup worldwide, as well as the ongoing invasion of Ukraine from Russia.
UK Defense Industry / ABC Flash Point Blog News 2022.