(VitalNews.org) – The United States Air Force has revealed new images of its latest nuclear stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider. The nearly $700 million plane, developed by aerospace multinational Northrop Grumman, is due to be in use by 2027. Its introduction to the US air fleet will see it replace models that have been in production since the Cold War.
The B-21 Raider marks the first new design of stealth nuclear bombers in 30 years and has been promoted with great excitement by US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, who heralded it as testament to the United States’ innovation and ingenuity.
Secretary Austin went on to state that the plane was the product of five decades of technological observations and advancements and would represent an impressive development in military aviation. According to the Defense Secretary, the new B-21 Bomber will prove incredibly difficult for any defense system to detect, no matter their level of sophistication.
The plane is a nuclear bomber but also maintains the capacity to carry other forms of missile and weaponry. It has been designed to withstand future technological developments as its open system design means that it has been created with the aim of carrying weapons not yet invented. This should mean that the aircraft can keep up with the latest in warfare innovations. Presently, the aircraft is planned to be used as a manned craft, but a spokesperson from the US Air Force confirmed that it has been designed to include the possibility of unmanned flight.
Although just six planes are currently being made, the B-21 is slated to replace all B-1 and B-2 planes in the US Air Force. This replacement is scheduled to take 30 years and is estimated to cost in the region of $203 billion. Currently, the US Air Force has agreed to purchase 100 such planes, although this number may increase in the future. The B-21 Bomber is expected to make its first flight later this year.
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