The B-21 Raider Goes Into Production Soon! Posted on 26 Feb 16:49

B-21 Production Gets Go-Ahead from Pentagon

The U.S. Department of Defense has finally, after much speculation and anticipation, given the green light to production of the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider, the Air Force’s newest stealth bomber. The aircraft is named after the daring air raid of Japan's islands, including Tokyo,  during World War II. These were led by Lt. Col. James “Jimmy” Doolittle, a mission that the Air Force said “changed the course of World War II.”

Defense undersecretary William LaPlante told Defense One that Northrop Grumman will begin production in low numbers following the B-21's testing and then providing a solid path forward for its manufacture.

The U.S. Air Force wants at least 100 B-21 aircraft, but Northrop Grumman pointed out that a few defense analysts have said they believe the order number should be closer to 200.

The first B-21s could be delivered as soon as 2025-2026. The B-21 Raider has been in the development and planning stage for more than a decade now. Once it becomes operational, the B-21 will serve as a nuclear deterrent and help carry out national security objectives.

The Air Force described the B-21 Raider as a component of a larger family of long-range strike systems including intelligence, reconnaissance, attack, and communications. The aircraft is designed to carry nuclear weapons and will be able to support both manned and unmanned operations. 

Image Credit: U.S. Airforce