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MEET AMERICA’S NEWEST NUCLEAR STEALTH BOMBER – WITH A COST OF $700M PER PLANE

The Air Force has released new pictures of its B-21 Raider – a nuclear-armed stealth bomber. The aircraft is the first new American bomber in more than 30 years and is one-of-six in production, according to USA Today.

The secretive aircraft has taken to the skies over California for testing and sleek new pictures show it in flight.

“The flight test program is proceeding well,” Andrew Hunter, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, said earlier this month, according to USA Today.


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


Each new B-21 Raider has a cost of roughly $700m, according to the latest estimates. That is up from the initial cost of $500m per plane in 2010.


The Air Force contract with Northrop Group calls for at least 100 new bombers.


B-21 Raiders are named in honour of the Doolittle Rangers, a group of Air Force pilots known for their surprise attack against Japan on April 18, 1942. The blitz forced Japan to recall combat forces for home defence – and it boosted morale among Americans.


The “21” figure recognises the first bomber of the century.


The newest US stealth bomber, the B-21, is undergoing test flights in California before entering the fleet (US Air Force).

“The B-21 Raider will be a component of a larger family of systems for conventional Long Range Strike, including Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, electronic attack, communication and other capabilities,” an Air Force briefing reads.


“It will be nuclear capable and designed to accommodate manned or unmanned operations. Additionally, it will be able to employ a broad mix of stand-off and direct-attack munitions.”


The plan is for the newest bombers to replace the B-1 and B-2 models. Stealth bombers are known for their ability to avoid radar detection.

SOURCE: The Independent.

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