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. By the end of the year, the development schedule indicates that the initial Raider prototypes will be immersed in the early stages of the type’s ground/flight test campaigns, ahead of its eventual entry into service with the USAF at some point in the mid-2020s, when the first production examples are due to be delivered to the air arm.