The New Stealth Nuclear Bomber USA debuted on Friday after years of secret development and as part of the Pentagon’s response to growing concerns about a future conflict with China.
The B-21 Raiders it is the first new American bomber in more than 30 years. Almost all aspects of the program are confidential.
LOOK: US sells Finland Stinger anti-aircraft missiles for $380 million
As evening fell over Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, the public got their first look at the raider in a very controlled ceremony. It began with a flyover of the three bombers still in service: the B-52 Stratofortress, the B-1 Lancer, and the B-2 Spirit. The hangar doors were then slowly opened and the B-21 was partially towed out of the building.
The bomber is part of the Pentagon’s efforts to modernize all three branches of its nuclear triad.including silo-launched nuclear ballistic missiles and submarine-launched warheads, as it migrates from the anti-terror campaigns of past decades to China’s rapid military modernization.
China is on track to have 1,500 nuclear weapons by 2035, and its achievements in hypersonic weapons, cyber warfare, space capabilities and other areas present “the most significant systemic challenge to the national security of the United States and the free and open international system,” it reported. this week the Pentagon in its annual report on China.
“We needed a new bomber for the 21st century that would allow us to deal with much more complicated threats, like the threats we fear one day from China or Russia”, Deborah Lee James, secretary of the Air Force, said when the Raider contract was announced in 2015.
Although the Raider may look like the B-2 on the outside, inside the similarities disappear, said Kathy Warden, CEO of Northrop Grumman Corp., which builds 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 computing power that we can now incorporate into the B-21 software,” Warden added.
Other changes are the advanced materials used in the coatings to make the bomber harder to spot, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said.
“Fifty years of advances in low-detection technology have been invested in this aircraft,” Austin stated. “Even the most sophisticated air defense systems will have a hard time spotting a B-21 in the sky.”
Other advances are likely to include new ways to control electronic emissions, so the bomber can evade adversary radars and disguise itself as another object, and the use of new propulsion technologies, several defense analysts said.
“It’s incredibly unobservable,” Warden asserted. “They’ll hear it, but they won’t really see it.”
There are six Raiders in production. The Air Force plans to build 100 that can deploy nuclear weapons or conventional bombs and can be used with or without a human crew.
The cost of the bombers is unknown. The Air Force had pegged the price at an average of $550 million each in 2010 — about $753 million today — but it’s unclear how much is actually being spent. The total will depend on how many bombers the Pentagon buys.
I am Jack Morton and I work in 24 News Recorder. I mostly cover world news and I have also authored 24 news recorder. I find this work highly interesting and it allows me to keep up with current events happening around the world.