Reference News Network reported on April 12 that the US Air Forces new stealth bomber is preparing for its first flight. Our next major milestone is the first flight, Lieutenant General Arnold Bunch, the Air Forces senior procurement officer, said of the B-21 long-range strategic bomber project.
U.S. Military website reported on April 10 that Bunch told lawmakers at a hearing of the Senate Military Committees Air Transport Ground Service Subcommittee on April 9 that the project had completed all research and development nodes as scheduled. Although he did not say when the first flight would take place, officials said the first B-21 was expected to have initial operational capability by the mid-1920s.
Speaking about the bomber, Bunch said, We are still in the early stages of procurement... (Project B-21) is advancing as we expected, and we have passed the critical design review.
Officials confirmed that the B-21 manufactured by Northrop-Grumman was named Raider to commemorate Doolittles air strike on Tokyo during World War II.
The report points out that B-21 can perform both nuclear and non-nuclear tasks. It can track multiple targets when performing conventional strike missions. The project uses an open mission system and architecture, which means that different technologies can be accessed to a common management system and can communicate with each other, Bonch said on the 9th.
Bunch said that the US Air Force was letting combat personnel get involved in the project ahead of time, which indicated that the project made significant progress.
In 2015, the Air Force handed over the initial $21.4 billion contract to Northrop Grumman. The total cost of the project is expected to exceed $55 billion due to the purchase of at least 100 raider bombers.
In March, the U.S. Air Force chose Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota as its first B-21 combat base. The first formal training unit of the fighter will also be stationed here. The base is listed as the preferred location of the B-21, and B-1B lancers bombers are currently deployed.
The US Air Force said in a press release that Whitman Air Force Base in Missouri and Days Air Force Base in Texas will receive B-21 Raider bombers in the future.
The picture shows the U.S. B-21 bomber scenario.
Source: Responsible Editor of Reference Message Network: Wang Xu_NBJS8023