US begins producing 'stealth killer' bombers
B-21 bomber during a test flight in California, USA in November 2023. Photo: Drive

The United States announced it began putting the B-21 Raider stealth bomber into production two months after this aircraft model took off.

“Based on the results of ground and air tests and the development team’s plans, I have authorized the start of production of B-21 Raider bombers in small quantities,” William LaPlante, Deputy Secretary The US Defense is in charge of purchasing weapons, it was said on January 23.

Mr. LaPlante did not disclose specific details about the contract to produce B-21 bombers, such as contract value, expected output or completion time. Northrop Grumman, the company that developed the B-21 Raider, confirmed on the same day that this aircraft model had begun production in limited quantities.

“We were awarded the contract after the B-21 series performed its first test flight as scheduled and met sufficient standards to be able to put it into production,” said a representative of the US weapons manufacturer.

B-21 Raider (Raider), nicknamed “stealth assassin,” has been developed by Northrop Grumman since 2015 and first announced at the end of 2022. This is the first bomber model used by the US and launched in the 1980s when the B-2 Spirit line was put into service. The manufacturer claims this is “the world’s first true 6th generation stealth bomber”.

The Pentagon has not revealed much about the features of the B-21 but said this bomber model can carry many types of weapons, including nuclear weapons, and has a range superior to other aircraft. Current aircraft line while also integrating state-of-the-art stealth technology. The B-21 is also said to be a smart bomber thanks to being equipped with many sensors, connection networks, data fusion capabilities, and the ability to launch electronic warfare and reconnaissance.

“The development achievements in stealth technology over the past 50 years will be crystallized in this aircraft,” US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said at the B-21 Raider launch ceremony in December 2022. “Even the most modern air defense systems have difficulty detecting it.”

America’s “stealth assassin” first took off last November after a long period of project delays for many reasons, including the impact of Covid-19. Last week, this bomber model performed its second public test flight.

The US Air Force plans to order about 100 B-21 Raiders to replace the B-1B Lancer and B-2 Spirit strategic bombers in the coming decades. Each B-21 has a factory price of nearly 700 million USD, not including research and production costs, while the entire project is worth about 203 billion USD. According to the plan, the B-21 model will be put into service with the US Air Force in the next two years.