Flight Delayed, B-21 Raider Predicted To Fly In 2023

Flight Delayed, B-21 Raider Predicted To Fly In 2023
B-2 Stealth Bomber. Image: DOD Flickr

International Military - The B 21 Raider will not go into the air until 2023. This indicates a delay in the flight of the B21 Raider itself. On May 20, the US Air Force Spokesperson announced this. "Recently, the Air Force released a new forecast for the first flight; projected for next year, 2023," he said, quoted by the Eurasian Times.

The service states that it strives to be as transparent as possible about the project and that "these estimates reflect the current status of the project." Service does not account for the delay. However, due to supply chain problems and labor shortages, many other notable programs, this is the same as Boeing's recently postponed T-7A trainer.

"B-21 remains within the acquisition program baseline for cost, schedule, and performance set out in the Milestone B award, which is based on independent government estimates for the program," the spokesperson said.

Reporting from Airforce Magazine, the Rapid Capabilities Office Director Randall Walden previously predicted in early 2021 that the B-21 would fly by "mid-2022". Air Force and industry sources said at the time that the service would likely still launch the first B-21s in calendar 2022.

This was because the aircraft had to venture outside the Northrop Grumman Palmdale, California, plant for engine and other testing. "The B-21 program continues to ensure the first test flight aircraft is of high quality build and production representative, to drive an efficient flight test campaign and rapidly deploy this critical combat capability," the spokesman said.

The first flight will be "data and event driven, not event driven," meaning the aircraft will fly only when the Air Force believes it is ready to do so. The B-21 Raider is claimed to be a game changer for the US air force. In fact, the development costs were increased to $32 billion through fiscal year 2027. This means the US has high hopes for the B-21 Raider.

Reporting from 19fortyfive.com, the B-21 Raider can act as a kind of head trainer and operate a number of drones to serve as loyal wingmen. This will increase the targeting capabilities of the aircraft, providing better situational awareness.

The B-21 Raider will also have the ability to sneak past sensors and penetrate enemy territory or to stay out of range of enemy air defenses for stand-off missile launches. Because drones can exploit their own targeting information, the B-21 has greater autonomy. This sophisticated bomber is also projected to be built in the hundreds in the future.

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