The US and China Plan to Develop a New Stealth Fighter Bomber, What About Russia?

The US and China Plan to Develop a New Stealth Fighter Bomber, What About Russia?
Chinese H-20 Stealth Bomber

International Military - The United States (US) is a superpower that has a series of capable combat fleets in the world. For decades now, the US Air Force has been the only country in the world to possess stealth bombers. Besides that only a handful of them used the B-2 Spirit. Now, America wants a new flying wing in the B-21 Raider.

Quoted from entitled 'Showdown: America And China Will Introduce New Stealth Bombers', according to the 2021 infographic from, the United States has led the world in the number of military aircraft with more than 13,232 aircraft in its fleet. That's bigger than the next five countries combined.

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Russia reportedly has around 4,142 aircraft (including those that may have been destroyed in Ukraine since data was collected in March 2021), while China has 3,260 military aircraft, followed by India (2,199), South Korea (1,581) and Japan 1,480.

Although the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II entered service in the last decade, the Lockheed Martin-made F-16C remains the most common fighter aircraft in the US inventory with 803 in service. It also remains the most common fighter jet in service globally, according to a 2021 World Air Force report from Flight International, with 2,267 operated by various air forces. 

Partly because of the aircraft's multi-role capabilities, currently only three countries, China, Russia and the United States, continue to operate long-range bombers, and currently there are only about 518 in service worldwide.

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That number has actually decreased since the end of the Cold War, but is expected to increase over the next decade, with the United States Air Force's Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider entering service.

In addition, the adoption of the Xian H-20 by the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAA), the first special strategic bomber developed by China, will see the total number of bombers increase slightly. Each of the new bombers will use a flying wing design.

The United States Air Force is slowly retiring its aging fleet of B-1 Lancer, B-2 Spirit, and B-52 Stratofortress bombers, but will now continue to maintain its remaining legacy fleet until the Raiders come online.

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Today, 45 of the original 100 B-1Bs are now in service, while the Air Force retired about three dozen by the early 2000s. Additionally, there are 20 B-2s in service with the Air Force, which plans to operate them until at least 2032.

There are also currently 76 B-52s still flying and many of them are undergoing upgrades that will remain old aircraft flying into the 2050s. Beijing currently maintains the largest single-bomber family in service with the Xian H-6. More than 260 were built since 1959, and it is believed that at least 230 remain in service.

In fact, Cold War-era B-52s and H-6s now make up 60 percent of all bombers currently in service globally. In contrast, Russia has a slightly smaller bomber force with 66 Tupolev Tu-22Ms, 42 Tupolev Tu-95s and 15 Tupolev Tu-160s now in service.

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All of the planes date back to the Soviet era, but like the American and Chinese bombers, they have been continuously upgraded since the end of the Cold War.

But Russia has no immediate plans, unlike the United States and China, to introduce new bombers in the coming years. So, in the next few decades, the only high-flying bomber might just be the flying wing.

Ahead of development, here are some facts about the B-21 Raider as quoted from Hot Cars. Check out the following review! Initially, the USAF requested 80-100 LRS-B aircraft to be put in a perceived hole in the military's capabilities.

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They also expect the B-21 to replace the aging LRS-B aircraft currently in service, such as the B-2 Spirit. When putting a new aircraft into service, weighing cost and usage will determine the number of units ordered.

After the USAF placed an initial order, the number of aircraft is expected to swell to 175 once production enters full pit. In 2016, the minimum number of B-21s entered the 100-unit range, up from an earlier estimate of 80.

Finally, the head of USAF Global Strike Command reported that more than 200 B-21s may eventually enter service. Pratt & Whitney was supplied to supply engines for the B-21 Raider.

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In this case, Pratt & Whitney will supply the F135 turbines, which are also present on air superiority fighters such as the F-35. The decision is solid, considering the afterburning turbofan jets deliver up to 40,000 lbs of thrust. More than just a stealth bomber, the B-21 can play a dual role.

The B-21 can act as an intelligence platform that uses stealth to carry out reconnaissance, surveillance and communications missions using advanced technology. Furthermore, the B-21 Raider can support unmanned drone missions and carry stand-off or first-strike munitions to complete the total flight package.

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