8 Facts About the B-21 Raider, US's Most Advanced Stealth Bomber Substitute for the B-1 and B-2

5 Facts About the B-21 Raider, US's Most Advanced Stealth Bomber Substitute for the B-1 and B-2
8 Facts About the B-21 Raider

International Military - The United States Air Force (US) is scheduled to unveil its newest stealth aircraft called the B-21 Raider on Friday (2/12/2022). Built by Northrop Grumman, it will replace the B-1 and B-2 bombers. According to the company, the B-21 is the most advanced stealth military aircraft ever built.

Here are five facts about the B-21 Raider military aircraft:

1. Claimed as the World's Most Advanced Aircraft

According to Nothrop Grumman's corporate website, six B-21 bomber aircraft are being built at a facility in Palmdale, California. Northrop was awarded the contract in 2015 to design and build what it claims is the world's most advanced attack aircraft.

2. Cost $2 Billion Per Unit

This aircraft is designed to carry out strike missions of conventional weapons and long-range nuclear weapons. The estimated price per aircraft is USD 2 billion and is expected to be operational in early 2023.

3. Classified as 6th Generation Aircraft

According to the Northrop Grumman website, the B-21 Raider is classified as a sixth-generation aircraft that has breakthrough stealth technology. It has advanced networking capabilities and an open system architecture. The B-21 aircraft is optimized for high-end threat environments.

4. Digital Bombers

The company is promoting the latest iteration of this military aircraft as a “digital bomber”, capable of using agile technologies and cloud computing for faster and more flexible communications. Northrop said six B-21 Raiders are in various stages of assembly and final testing.

5. Stealth Bombers

Northrop Grumman is continuously advancing technology, employing new manufacturing techniques and materials to ensure the B-21 will defeat the anti-access, area-denial systems it will face. 

6. Cloud Technology

Northrop Grumman and the Air Force successfully demonstrated the migration of B-21 ground systems data to a cloud environment. This demonstration included the development, deployment and test of B-21 data, including the B-21 digital twin, that will support B-21 operations and sustainment. This robust cloud-based digital infrastructure will result in a more maintainable and sustainable aircraft with lower-cost infrastructure.

7. The Backbone of the US Bomber Fleet

The B-21 Raider will form the backbone of the US bomber fleet and is critical to supporting the US strategic deterrence strategy. In addition to its advanced long-range precision strike capabilities that will provide Combat Command with the capability to engage any target, anywhere in the world at risk, it has also been designed as a key component of a larger family of systems that will provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, electronic attack and multi-domain network capabilities. In a dynamic global security environment, the B-21 will provide the flexibility and deterrence critical to the security of the US and its allies.

8. The Name Refers to the History of World War II

The name B-21 Raider is taken from the name Doolittle Raid of World War II. The Doolittle Raid, also known as the Tokyo Raid, was the April 18, 1942 air raid by the United States on the Japanese Capital; Tokyo, and elsewhere on Honshu during World War II. Referring to the historic mission, Northrop said that 80 airmen, led by Lieutenant Colonel James "Jimmy" Doolittle, and 16 Mitchell B-25 medium bombers changed the course of World War II with their mission.

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