The B-21 Raider is on the front line already from the presentations. As a slogan and as an approximation to what this modern stealth bomberits creator, Northrop Grumman, assures that he seeks, neither more nor less, than “make the detectable undetectable”. Now we can finally know how. The company just announced that in a month, on December 2, will reveal its creation.
B-21 Raider is presented neither more nor less than as the first sixth generation aircraft, the most advanced conceptual framework for combat aircraft. Its creators have designed it for long-range operations, with a considerable endurance capacity and the potential to combine conventional and nuclear weapons. Among other objectives, the new bomber aims to circumvent the air defenses of potential enemies and “reach targets anywhere on the planet.”
With them the US wants to replace gradually their aircraft [B1 Lancer](B1 Lancer) and [B-2 Spirit](B-2 Spirit) and reinforce its aerial muscle together with the improved versions of the B-52s. “The B-21 will provide the kind of payload, range and penetrability that our current force of B-1s, B-52s and to a lesser extent B-12s cannot achieve,” explains the lieutenant general Retired Air Force David Deptula.
Northrop estimates that as of today only 10% of US bombers are able to outwit the most advanced air defenses of their adversaries. With a base in the Pacific —points out South China Morning Post— could reduce response time to China.
“Since they have continued to invest heavily in sophisticated technologies and weapons platforms that allow them to act maliciously or extend their range, a new bomber is essential to deter potential adversaries.” highlights the multinational American, one of the largest manufacturers of weapons and military technology in the world.
“It will pose new threats and challenges to China’s national defense,” recently recognized Yue Gang, retired colonel of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Other experts play down his real ability to penetrate the Asian giant’s defenses without being intercepted by missiles.
On Dec. 2, we’ll unveil the world’s first sixth-generation aircraft. Stay tuned for your first look at the B-21 Raider. https://t.co/y5TJ8wOkY8 pic.twitter.com/SEWbsmVZR3
— Northrop Grumman (@northropgrumman) October 20, 2022
Beyond its strategic reading or how efficient it would be in the event of a conflict, the new B-21 Raider will mark an important milestone in the recent military history of the United States. You have to go back to the end of the Cold War, to 1988, to find the last public presentation of a US Air Force bomber. The leading role then went to the B-2 Spirit.
The US plans would go through taking over at least a hundred planes and the company slips that the first deliveries could arrive “in the mid-2020s.” For now, Northrop Grumman Accurate which has half a dozen B-21 test models “in various stages of final assembly” in Palmdale, California. The first flight is scheduled for next year.
The United States is not the only one embarked on the modernization of its air muscle… Nor in demonstrating it publicly. Recently, Beijing was also showing its chest with another leading aircraft: the Xi’an H-20an “invisible” bomber that aspires, at the very least, to compete with the B-21 Raider.
Images: Northrop Grumman