Everything you need to know about the B-21 Raider ahead of its roll-out

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.

B-21 Raider [Northrop Grumman]
A digital rendering of the B-21 Raider inside a hangar at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota. This installation will be the first operational location for the new stealth bomber. The USAF is expected to eventually acquire at least 145 examples of the platform. Northrop Grumman

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.

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