B 21 Raider

On December 2, Northrop Grumman, in Palmdale, California, will debut the B-21 Raider stealth bomber to the public. The United States Air Force has spent approximately $203 billion developing the most technologically advanced aircraft.

The bomber has been designed to carry out long-range bombing and nuclear missions using cutting-edge stealth technologies.

Six bombers are currently being built at Palmdale at about $2 billion per plane cost. They are expected to be flying in 2023. 

In 2015, after Northrop was awarded the contract to design and manufacture the bomber, development work began between the Air Force and the aerospace and military business.

The advanced aircraft was named after the Doolittle Raiders, a team of World War II B-21 bomber crews known for their daring and bravery.

Northrop representatives have called the B-21 “pioneering” and “technological excellence.”

According to Dough Young, vice president and general manager of Northrop Industry, the B-21 is the most advanced military aircraft ever produced because of its cutting-edge design and cutting-edge technology.

The Raider shows the dedication and skills of the thousands of people who work daily to build this aircraft.”

Full details of the bomber have been kept under wraps, with virtually nothing revealed about the plane.

Not even photos of the plane have been released, but only renditions of the aircraft revealed by the Air Force and a presentation video posted by Northrup showing the shape of the B-21 hidden under a cover.

The plane is said to use never-before-seen stealth technology to avoid detection by enemies and could be able to fly with or without pilots, according to Defense One.

As described by Northrop president Tom Jones, the aircraft is “designed for missions in highly contested locations.”

The presentation ceremony on Friday will be by invitation only. Jones told Defense One that more than 8,000 people across 40 states participated in the development project.

I think it is the first vision of what will be an excellent capacity for our country,” he said. The Air Force has qualified the B-21 as a sixth-generation aircraft, which means it would be the most advanced on the planet.

Aircraft generations denote the main phases of flight technology. The fifth generation – of which up to the B-21 the most advanced warplanes in the world are part – consists of the technology that prevailed in the 1990s and the beginning of the 21st century.

The Doolittle Raiders were a group of World War II bomber pilots and crewmen who inspired the moniker of the Raider.

They consisted of 80 Air Force members who volunteered to attack Tokyo on April 18, 1942, just months after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and drew the US into the war in the previous December.

The bombing raid was planned and led by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle and significantly boosted American morale.

The airmen carried out their attack from 16 B-25 bombers, which launched from the USS Hornet’s flight deck despite the carrier not being designed to accommodate such large aircraft.

The raid acted as a catalyst for many future innovations in US air superiority from land or sea,” Northrop wrote on its website. 

That bold, innovative and courageous spirit of the Doolittle Raiders has been the inspiration behind the name of America’s next-generation bomber, the B-21 Raider.”