The first B-21 stealth bomber test aircraft is “starting to look like an airplane” as parts arrive, suppliers integrate technologies and production surges forward. The military’s new-generation of stealth technology will usher in a new era in long-range strike options as the B-21 comes online.
The ultimate purpose of the aircraft was described by Defense Secretary Mark Esper during a recent visit to Northrop Grumman’s design and development headquarters in Melbourne, Florida.
“The B-21 brings the ability to strike any target anywhere is the ultimate strategic deterrent and the B-21 Raider will bring that capability,” Esper said, according to an Air Force report.
By all accounts, the program is on track to deliver within just the next few years, potentially on an expedited time frame. In fact, several senior leaders have outright said the B-21s “first formal flight” could come as soon as next year.
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