The USAF's new long-range strategic stealth bomber, the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider, is set to reshape the service’s global strike force. Khalem Chapman reveals what is known about it so far.
Next year will be of huge importance to Northrop Grumman and the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) Long-Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) programme. It will signal the formal arrival of the B-21 Raider and bring the new-generation strategic stealth bomber out of the shadows and into public focus for the first time.
The new bomber, which will be capable of delivering both conventional weapons and thermonuclear warheads, is scheduled to be publicly rolled out early next year before completing its first flight in mid-2022. However, the USAF and Northrop Grumman revealed that the first flight would not take place until 2023 (pending the outcome of ground testing) in May 2022. On September 20, 2022, it was announced that the public unveiling of the B-21 would take place in the first week of December.