The New B-21 Raider Stealth Bomber Has Just Been Unveiled

The New B-21 Raider Stealth Bomber Has Just Been Unveiled


The B-21 Raider

The brand new sixth era stealth bomber has been unveiled throughout a ceremony on the firm’s web site in Palmdale, California.

It lastly occurred. On Dec. 2, 2022, Northrop Grumman, in partnership with the U.S. Air Drive, unveiled the B-21 Raider, U.S. Air Drive’s subsequent era stealth bomber. The occasion, organized within the night, to cover some (most) of the plane particulars, was streamed stay on Youtube, making it the primary time the rollout of a strategic bomber was broadcast on the Web for everybody to see.

Destined to exchange the B-1 and B-2 fleets, the B-21 that has simply been unveiled isn’t a lot totally different from the plane teased within the rendering launched in the previous couple of years: it’s a flying wing identical to the B-2 Spirit, and has the identical “hawk’s-beak” profile.

One other shut up view (Northrop Grumman photograph)

Listed here are among the principal issues we observed (not straightforward to evaluate far more and validate among the assumptions from the frontal view):

  • General form is much like the one of many B-2 however the B-21 might be smaller in measurement (not as small as I used to be anticipating)
  • We weren’t allowed any aspect or planeform views
  • B-21 forefront exhibits totally different design idea than the B-2
  • We are able to’t fully assess the form of the “hawk’s-beak” profile
  • The B-21 options totally different inlets config and blended conformal engine nacelles
  • The B-21 has a two-wheel MLG (Predominant Touchdown Gear)
  • We are able to’t see the MLG and Nostril Gear doorways: particularly, some renderings confirmed the MLG doorways will not be trapezoidal however present serrated edges whereas the nosegear door is serrated and never hooked up to the gear leg however on the best aspect of the bay. This have to be re-assessed.
  • The Raider has a brand new four-pieces windscreen, just like the Spirit, however with a really totally different form for the 2 lateral home windows. The aspect home windows seem like arched and narrower than those within the entrance (about half the peak).
  • The colour isn’t clear however appears to be a light-weight gray.
Shut up view in a photograph launched after the disclosing (Picture by Employees Sgt. Jeremy Mosier)

Nonetheless, many of the Raider’s peculiarities are invisible to an “exterior inspection”: the B-21 is a “digital bomber”. It was developed utilizing agile software program improvement, superior manufacturing strategies and digital engineering instruments to assist mitigate manufacturing threat on the B-21 program and allow trendy sustainment practices. The Raider has been designed as an Open Structure, in order that new upgrades may be shortly put in (roughly like new Apps and Updates are made accessible to a smartphone) and leverages a Cloud infrastructure to extra maintainable and sustainable plane with lower-cost infrastructure.

In 2021, Randall Walden, director of the Air Drive Speedy Capabilities Workplace, mentioned {that a} first flight in mid-2022 was a “good wager”. Again then, a second B-21 Raider bomber was below building at Northrop Grumman’s facility at the USA Air Drive Plant 42 in Palmdale, California. At the moment, at least six examples of the B-21 are below building at Air Drive Plant 42.

First flight ought to occur in 2023 however when the brand new bomber might be prepared for service it’s nonetheless not clear: it was initially anticipated to enter service round 2026 or 2027, with Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, being the popular location for the primary B-21 principal working base, and Dyess AFB, Texas, being the choice, however that timetable would possibly have to be revised.

The B-21 Raider was unveiled to the general public at a ceremony December 2, 2022 in Palmdale, Calif. (U.S. Air Drive photograph)

David Cenciotti is a journalist primarily based in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and browse army aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and lots of others, overlaying aviation, protection, warfare, business, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with totally different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Drive, a personal pilot and a graduate in Laptop Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.


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