Friday, the us air force unveiled its newest nuclear stealth bomber, the b-21 raider, at manufacturer northrop grumman’s facility in california. defence secretary lloyd austin was present to mark the occasion and noted that the plane would offer significant advances over existing bombers in the us fleet. the b-21 is the first new bomber in 30 years and could cost nearly $700m each.
Ceremony was held on friday at northrop grumman’s facility in california. the first flight of the b-21 is expected to take place next year and the us air force is planning to acquire at least 100 of the aircraft. the fleet is estimated to cost $203bn to develop, buy and operate over 30 years.
B-21 was built with an “open system architecture,” which allows for the incorporation of “new weapons that haven’t even been invented yet”. it also features the “next generation of stealth” and employs unspecified “new manufacturing techniques and materials”. even the most sophisticated air defence systems will struggle to detect the b-21 in the sky due to the fifty years of advances in low-observable technology that have gone into its construction. it can carry both nuclear and conventional weapons.