The U.S. Air Force has released new digital renderings of its B-21 Raider heavy strategic nuclear bomber, as well as additional information on the combat aircraft.
The B-21 Raider bomber is being built by Northrop Grumman as part of the US Air Force’s long-range bombers program. The goal is to modernize one of the links in the American nuclear deterrent triad. It consists of bombers, land-based missiles and submarine missiles.
The latest render includes not only an updated version of the delta wing stealth bomber, but also Edwards Air Force Base in California in the background. It was there that the 420th Flight Test Squadron was tasked with planning, testing, analyzing and reporting the B-21’s flights and ground tests.
The B-21 has undergone critical design review and is currently in the design and production stages. At this stage, not only the aircraft itself is considered, but also the corresponding production infrastructure and production supply chain.
Planned for service by 2027, the B-21 Raider is designed to work in conjunction with the B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit bombers. As the B-21 fleet grows to an expected size of over 100 gliders, it will replace the B-1 and B-2, as well as the B-52, unless a life extension program is undertaken.
The B-21 is designed as a dual-use penetrating stealth bomber that can carry both conventional and nuclear weapons in counter-attack and direct attack versions.