The Air Force will roll out its new stealth bomber in December, more than three decades after introducing bombers capable of penetrating the most sophisticated defenses.
The Air Force will reveal the B-21 Raider during a ceremony at the Northrup Grumman production facilities in Palmdale, California, officials said this week.
“The unveiling of the B-21 Raider will be a historic moment for our Air Force and the nation,” Gen. C.Q. Brown Jr., Air Force chief of staff, said in a statement. “The B-21 Raider will provide formidable combat capability across a range of operations in highly contested environments of the future.”
Air Force officials described the B-21 Raider as a long-range, highly survivable, stealth bomber that eventually will replace the B-1 and B-2 bombers, becoming the backbone of the nation’s bomber fleet. It will be fitted with a broad mix of weapons and supporting systems, including advanced communications and sensors.
“As we look to the threats posed by our pacing challenge; we must continue to rapidly modernize,” Gen. Brown said.
The B-21 was designed with an open systems architecture, allowing the aircraft to remain effective as threats evolve over time by rapid insertion of mature technologies, Air Force officials said.
“The B-21 program is a powerful example of America’s long experience with fielding advanced military technology through an innovative, adaptable and efficient defense industrial base,” said Andrew Hunter, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics.