Northrop Grumman Corporation, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force, will 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. Since contract award in 2015, Northrop Grumman has assembled a nationwide team to design, test and build the world’s most advanced strike aircraft. The B-21 is a product of Northrop Grumman’s pioneering digital engineering practices and advanced manufacturing techniques together with breakthrough stealth technology.
“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.
“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.”
The unveiling will take place at Northrop Grumman’s Palmdale site, during an invitation-only event. Six B-21s are being manufactured as of February 2022. The first B-21 was moved to a calibration facility in March 2022. In May 2022, the Air Force announced that they expected first flight of the B-21 to take place in 2023. Six B-21 test aircraft are 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 first flight will be based on ground test outcomes.
The Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider is an American strategic bomber under development for the United States Air Force (USAF) by Northrop Grumman. As part of the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) 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. As of 2021, the bomber was expected to enter service by 2026–27. It 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.