Conti Federal to Build US Air Force B-21 Maintenance Hangar in South Dakota

Conti Federal has received a $135.5-million contract to build a B-21 Phase Maintenance Hangar for the US Air Force in Rapid City, South Dakota.

The project supports future deployments of the Pentagon’s latest stealth aircraft, the Northrop Grumman-built B-21 Raider, which is now undergoing tests to reach operational capability by 2027.

The center will cover approximately 80,000 square feet (7,430 square meters) at Ellsworth AFB and incorporate two bays, an airfield apron, utilities, and infrastructure.

Once completed, the hangar will perform alongside other B-21 facilities the Florida-based company is also developing at the base, including a radio frequency hangar, a fuel systems maintenance dock, and a weapons loader training facility.

Work on the hangar will be conducted in partnership with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and is scheduled to conclude by May 2027.

“This most recent award is a critical project to the B-21 mission at Ellsworth Air Force Base as it interfaces with many current and future beddown projects,” Conti Federal US Business Development VP Ryan Kanzleiter stated.

“We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with USACE Omaha to deliver another project safely, with sound quality and mission-focus.”

Artist impression of the B-21 Raider, an American heavy bomber under development for the United States Air Force by Northrop Grumman
Artist impression of the B-21 Raider. Photo: Northrop Grumman

The B-21 Raider

The US Air Force’s B-21 Raider was developed to amplify America’s long-range strike capability in response to emerging aerospace threats. It can carry conventional and nuclear munitions for both stand-off and direct-attack missions.

The intercontinental strategic bomber will replace the Rockwell B-1 Lancer, Northrop Grumman B-2, and potentially the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress.

Although not much information on the new plane has been declassified, the B-21 is said to leverage advanced stealth technology similar to F-22 and F-35 fighter jets to decrease its radar signature.

Low-rate production of the B-21 began in January 2024, just two months after the aircraft completed its maiden flight. In 2022, the air force started ground trials for the bomber.

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