Extra Flight Assessments of the Subsequent Technology B-21 Stealth Bomber

The B-21 Stealth bomber has been having flight tests for a few months. U.S. Air Power’s B-21 Raider stealth bombers are actually conducting check flights from Edwards Air Power Base in California. The primary B-21 flew for the primary time November, 2023. Six pre-production B-21 have been constructed.

The Air Power at the moment expects the B-21 to enter service within the latter half of this decade. The Raider is slated to exchange the service’s B-1B and B-2 bombers. If there was an pressing want it’s doubtless that the US might rush the B-21 into service by early 2025. The primary B-21s might be delivered as quickly as 2025-2026 beneath a extra regular deployment.

The Air Power ought to have 24 to 30 operational B-21s by 2030. The US would ramp as much as constructing about ten B-21s per yr at full deliberate manufacturing.

The US bomber stock is 141 B-52s, B-1s and B-2s. That is smaller than at virtually any time in USAF historical past. The Pentagon’s present plan yields a bomber fleet of simply 133 by 2033. The B-21s would begin working earlier than the B-1s and B-2s are retired.

The US has 20 operational B-2s. The US has about 67 operational B1 bombers.

The B-21 weapon system is manufactured beneath the Air Power’s contract with Northrop Grumman. It’s designed with an open programs structure, enabling fast insertion of mature applied sciences, and permitting the plane to stay efficient as threats evolve over time. The plane is anticipated to enter service within the mid-2020s with a manufacturing purpose of a minimal of 100 plane.

The Air Force Rapid CapabilitiesWorkplace manages the acquisition program, specializing in making check plane as manufacturing consultant as doable. Check plane are constructed on the identical manufacturing line and use the identical manning and tooling that shall be used within the eventual manufacturing.

The AFRCO’s technique contains constructing check plane as production-representative as doable. Reasonably than a conventional flight prototype method, B-21 check plane are constructed together with mission programs utilizing the identical manufacturing processes and tooling for manufacturing plane. This method in growth laid the groundwork for manufacturing to begin extra shortly.

In December 2022, an Australian Strategic Coverage Institute report advocated the acquisition of a lot of B-21 Raiders to allow Australia to have a higher long-range strike functionality. The report states {that a} B-21 might fly 2,500 miles (4,000 km) with out refueling whereas carrying extra munitions as in comparison with the utmost 930 miles (1,500 km) vary of the RAAF’s F-35 fighter jets, which require air-to-air refueling. A single B-21 can even ship the identical affect as a number of F-35As. The B-2A block 30 has extra vary of 6,900 mi (11,000 km, 6,000 nmi).

The B-21 might additionally function as an unmanned drone.

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