New stealth bomber known as B-21 Raider announced
WASHINGTON America’s most recent nuclear stealth bomber makes its debut to the public after many years of personal development and as part of the Pentagon’s response to growing concerns about the possibility of a conflict with China.
The B-21 Raider is the first modern American bomber aircraft built in the last 30+ years. Nearly every aspect associated with the project is classified. In advance of the unveiling, this Friday at the Air Force facility in Palmdale, California, only artists’ aircraft renderings is available. These images demonstrate that the Raider is akin to the black stealth bomber with a nuclear engine that it will eventually replace, the B-2 Spirit.
The bomber is a part of military efforts by the United States to improve the three components of the nuclear trinity, which comprises silo-launched nuclear ballistic missiles as well as warheads that are launched by submarines in a shift away from the anti-terrorism operations of the past decade to match China’s rapid modernization of its military.
China is expected to acquire 1500 nukes by the year 2035. its advances in hypersonic cyber warfare, space capabilities, and other areas are “the most consequential and systemic challenge to U.S. national security and the free and open international system,” the Pentagon declared last week in the annual China report.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other guests will be in attendance on Friday to watch the public unveiling of the bomber.
“We needed a new bomber for the 21st Century that would allow us to take on much more complicated threats, like the threats that we fear we would one day face from China, Russia, ” said Deborah Lee James, the Air Force secretary when the Raider contract was announced in 2015. “The B-21 is more survivable and can take on these much more difficult threats.”
Although the Raider might look a lot like the B-2 once you’re into the cabin, all similarities cease, as per Kathy Warden, chief executive of Northrop Grumman Corp., which is developing the Raider.
“The way it operates internally is extremely advanced compared to the B-2, because the technology has evolved so much in terms of the computing capability that we can now embed in the software of the B-21,” Warden stated.
Other possible changes include the use of advanced materials in coatings that make the bomber challenging to spot, new methods to limit electronic emissions to ensure that the bomber can cover up radars from adversaries in disguise as a different object, and the use of advanced propulsion technology that defense analysts have said.
In a fact sheet Northrop Grumman, based in Falls Church, Virginia, stated that it uses “new manufacturing techniques and materials to ensure the B-21 will defeat the anti-access, area-denial systems it will face.”
Warden did not provide details of these technologies, but he said that the bomber would be more discreet.
“When we talk about low observability, it is incredibly low observability,” Warden declared. “You’ll hear it, but you won’t see it.”
Six B-21 Raiders are in production, and the Air Force plans to build 100 that can launch either conventional or nuclear bombs and can be operated either with or without a human-powered crew. The Air Force and Northrop also emphasize the Raider’s rapid development process: The bomber was from awarding contracts to its debut within seven years. Other ships and fighter programs have taken decades to develop.
The price of the bombers has yet to be discovered. It is still being determined how much they cost. Air Force previously put the cost of buying 100 planes at an estimated $550 million in dollars for 2010, roughly $753 million in the present. However, it needs to be made clear how much this Air Force is spending.
This is because the cost is not public and is a concern for federal watchdogs.
“It might be a big challenge for us to do our normal analysis of a major program like this,” said Dan Grazier, a senior defense policy analyst with the Project on Government Oversight. “It’s easy to say that the B-21 is still on schedule before it actually flies. Because it’s only when one of these programs goes into the actual testing phase when real problems are discovered. And so that’s the point when schedules really start to slip and costs really start to rise.”
The Raider is scheduled to make its first flying flight in 2023. But using the latest technology in computer technology, Warden said, Northrop Grumman has been testing the Raider’s performance with a digital twin. An exact model of the Raider is being revealed.
It was believed that the B-2 was also planned to comprise an entire fleet of over 100 aircraft. However, the Air Force ultimately built only 21 jets due to over-budgets and a change in the security environment following the fall of the collapse of Soviet Union fell.
There are fewer than that prepared to fly on any given day because of the extensive maintenance requirements of the old bomber, according to Todd Harrison, an aerospace specialist and director of Metrea Strategic Insights.
B-21 Raider B-21 Raider, which takes its name from 1942’s Doolittle Raid over Tokyo, will be less than B-2 to make it more maneuverable, Warden said.
In October 2001, B-2 pilots set a new record by flying all day long to launch the initial bombs into Afghanistan the following September. 11. attacks. However, the B-2 typically performs lengthy round-trip missions because there aren’t many hangars that can handle its wingspan.
This limits the places B-2s can land for necessary post-flight maintenance. Additionally, hangars have to be air-conditioned, as the windows on the Spirit don’t open, and hotter climates can cause cooking of the cockpit electronics.
New Raider will also have new hangars that can accommodate the dimensions and complexity of the bomber, Warden stated.