Northrop Achieves New Milestone for Futuristic B-21 Stealth Bomber

Northrop Grumman has conducted another flight test of the US Air Force’s futuristic B-21 Raider, achieving another milestone for the stealth bomber aircraft. 

In a company announcement posted May 23, Northrop said its test pilots have reported that the warplane is now performing as expected, meaning the program is on track to meet its desired timelines.

Test pilots have also observed that the B-21’s handling closely resembles that of digital simulations conducted, underscoring overall precision and reliability.

In a separate statement, US Air Force acquisition and technology assistant secretary Andrew Hunter said the flight test program on the Raider aircraft is proceeding well.

“It is doing what flight test programs are designed to do, which is helping us learn about the unique characteristics of this platform, but in a very, very effective way,” he stated.

The B-21 is expected to undertake more flight tests leading to initial operational capability and full-rate production.

A ‘Dual-Capable Bomber’

Unveiled in December 2022, the B-21 Raider is designed to defeat the most advanced threats in modern warfare.

It has been described as a “dual-capable” bomber aircraft because of its ability to carry and launch both conventional and nuclear weapons.

Its stealth features allow the aircraft to fly with minimal signature, helping it evade enemy radars and air defenses.

B-21 Raider
The B-21 Raider during its most recent flight test. Photo: US Air Force

The B-21 will incrementally replace the B-1 and B-2 bombers in the air force inventory.

It is expected to be operational by 2027 and play a major role in supporting the national security objectives of the US.

The aircraft has already caught the attention of China, which claimed that it has an artificial intelligence-enabled weapon to shoot down the sophisticated warplane.

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