B-21 ‘Raider’ unveiled

Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force introduce the B-21 Raider, the world’s first...
Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force introduce the B-21 Raider, the world’s first sixth-generation aircraft.(Northrop Grumman)
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 2:46 PM MDT|Updated: Dec. 2, 2022 at 6:43 PM MST
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PALMDALE, Cali. (KKTV) - The B-21 “Raider”was unveiled to the public this week.

The unveiling happened Friday evening and was streamed publicly.

The company behind the B-21, Northrop Grumman, is reporting the U.S. Air Force confirmed that the B-21 first flight is projected for 2023. However, the actual timing of first flight is based on ground test outcomes. Click here for 10 facts on the aircraft.

“Northrop Grumman is proud of our partnership with the U.S. Air Force as we deliver the B-21 Raider, a sixth-generation aircraft optimized for operations in highly contested environments,” said Tom Jones, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems.

Six B-21 test aircraft are currently in various stages of final assembly in Palmdale, California.

“The B-21 Raider will be a dual-capable penetrating strike stealth bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions,” part of the B-21 profile on the U.S. Air Force website reads. “The B-21 will form the backbone of the future Air Force bomber force consisting of B-21s and B-52s. Designed to operate in tomorrow’s high-end threat environment, the B-21 will play a critical role in ensuring America’s enduring airpower capability.

“With the B-21, the U.S. Air Force will be able to deter or defeat threats anywhere in the world,” Jones said on Friday. “The B-21 exemplifies how Northrop Grumman is leading the industry in digital transformation and digital engineering, ultimately delivering more value to our customers.”

General Characteristics (From USAF)

Primary Function: Nuclear-capable, penetrating strike stealth bomber.

Lead Command: Air Force Global Strike Command

Inventory: Minimum of 100 aircraft

Average Unit Procurement Cost*: $550 million (base year 2010 dollars) /$639 million (base year 2019 dollars)*Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates directed B-21 Average Procurement Unit Cost as a key performance parameter as the best means to control costs.

Munitions: Nuclear and conventional