Northrop Grumman, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force, has planned to unveil the B-21 Raider during the first week of December at the company’s Palmdale, California facility.
The B-21 Raider unveiling will be a historic moment, providing an exclusive view of the B-21 aircraft. The new bomber has so far only been glimpsed in concept art. The Raider is expected to have its first flight in 2023, but until then, a lot of work still needs to be done.
The B-21 is a product of Northrop Grumman’s pioneering digital engineering practices and advanced techniques together with breakthrough stealth technology. As part of the Long Range Strike Bomber program, it is to be an advanced, very long-range, large, heavy-payload stealth intercontinental strategic bomber for the USAF, able to deliver conventional and thermonuclear weapons.
The aircraft is to complement existing Rockwell B-1 Lancer, Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, and Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bomber fleets in U.S. service, and eventually replace these bombers.
“The B-21 is the most advanced military aircraft ever built and is a product of pioneering innovation and technological excellence,” said Doug Young, sector vice president, and general manager, Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems. “The Raider showcases the dedication and skills of the thousands of people working every day to deliver this aircraft.”
There are now six B-21 aircraft in various stages of final assembly in Palmdale, California. Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force confirmed in May that the B-21 first flight is projected for 2023. The actual timing of the first flight will be based on ground test outcomes.
The company hasn’t revealed any details about the planes, and their capabilities were released.