The U.S. Air Force released a new B-21 Raider artist rendering graphic with an accompanying fact sheet today. As with past renderings, this rendering is an artist’s interpretation of the B-21 design. The new rendering highlights the future stealth bomber with Edwards Air Force Base, California, as the backdrop. The 420th Flight Test Squadron based at Edwards AFB will plan, test, analyze and report on all flight and ground testing of the B-21 Raider.
“Nuclear modernization is a top priority for the Department of Defense and the Air Force, and B-21 is key to that plan,” said Randall Walden, Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office director. “The built-in feature of open systems architecture on the B-21 makes the bomber effective as the threat environment evolves. This aircraft design approach sets the nation on the right path to ensuring America’s enduring airpower capability.”
The B-21 program continues to execute the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase and is focused on scaling the manufacturing infrastructure and capacity across the industrial supply base to prepare for low rate initial production. A critical design review conducted in 2018 concluded the aircraft has a mature and stable design. Designed to perform long range conventional and nuclear missions and to operate in tomorrow’s high end threat environment, the B-21 will be a visible and flexible component of the nuclear triad.
The U.S. Air Force plans to incrementally replace the B-1 Lancer and the B-2 Spirit bombers to form a two-bomber fleet of B-21s and modified B-52s. The B-21 program is on track to deliver B-21s to the first operational base, Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota. The Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider is an American heavy bomber under development for the U.S. Air Force. At a Congressional hearing on 8 June 2021, revealed that the first two B-21s have now been completed at Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, and are ready for testing and expected to enter service by 2026â€“2027.