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New B-21 Stealth Bomber Appears in Flight: Air Force Shows Off the ‘Raider’

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The new B-21 Raider stealth bomber continues its progress toward becoming the backbone of the United States’ bomber fleet.

New images of the sixth-generation aircraft were released after a test flight at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Only last autumn, the United States Air Force (USAF) confirmed that the first B-21 had begun flight testing.

Andrew Hunter, assistant secretary of the US Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, highlighted that B-21 flight testing was on track to meet timelines and deliver to the warfighter programme.

“We are in the flight test programme, the flight test programme is proceeding well,” Hunter said.

“It is doing what flight test programmes are designed to do, which is helping us learn about the unique characteristics of this platform, but in a very, very effective way.”

He also told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Raider is the first aircraft that is more digital than not.

The B-21 aircraft is a long-range, highly survivable, penetrating strike stealth bomber that will look to replace the B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit bombers and play a major role in supporting US national security objectives and assuring their allies and partners across the globe.

It is designed with an open systems architecture, enabling the rapid insertion of mature technologies, allowing the aircraft to remain effective as threats evolve.

The aircraft is expected to enter service in the mid-2020s with a production goal of a minimum of 100 aircraft.

The B-21 weapon system is manufactured under the USAF’s contract with Northrop Grumman.

Northrop Grumman says the B-21 has been developed with the next generation of stealth technology and is capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear payloads.

The company said it would be one of the most effective aircraft in the sky, with the ability to use a broad mix of stand-off and direct attack munitions.

– British Forces Net

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