The Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider is a strategic bomber being developed by Northrop Grumman for the United States Air Force (USAF). It will be a long-range, stealth intercontinental strategic bomber for the USAF, capable of delivering conventional and thermonuclear weapons as part of the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) program.
When delivered to the Air Force, the B-21 will become a visible and flexible deterrent, supporting national security objectives and assuring the nation’s allies and partners.
Top 5 Features of B-21
The Raider will provide the Air Force with long-range, high survivability, and mission payload flexibility when it comes to delivering America’s resolve. The B-21 will breach the most formidable defences for precision strikes anywhere in the world. Here are five fascinating facts about Northrop Grumman’s B-21 Raider.
More than three decades of strike and stealth technology have gone into the B-21 Raider. It represents the next step in the evolution of the Air Force’s strategic bomber fleet. The B-21 is designed for high-end threat environments, with next-generation stealth technology, advanced networking capabilities, and an open systems architecture. It will be critical in assisting the Air Force with its most complex missions.
Northrop Grumman is constantly advancing technology, employing new manufacturing techniques and materials to ensure that the B-21 will be able to defeat the anti-access, area-denial systems that it will face.
The Fleet’s backbone
The B-21 Raider is the backbone of US air power in the future. Through advanced integration of data, sensors, and weapons, the B-21 will usher in a new era of capability and flexibility. The B-21 will be one of the most effective aircraft in the sky, capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear payloads and capable of using a wide range of stand-off and direct attack munitions.
A Digital Bomber
The B-21 is classified as a digital bomber. Northrop Grumman employs agile software development, advanced manufacturing techniques, and digital engineering tools to help mitigate production risk and enable modern sustainment practices on the B-21 program.
To meet the evolving threat environment, the B-21 was designed from the start to be upgradeable. Unlike previous generations of aircraft, the B-21 will not receive block upgrades. Through agile software upgrades and built-in hardware flexibility, new technology, capabilities, and weapons will be seamlessly integrated. This will ensure that the B-21 Raider can face the evolving threat head-on for decades to come.
The B-21 Raider was designed as a subsonic aircraft rather than one capable of tight fighter maneuvers. Its unveiling and eventual deployment would be the US’s first credible tool against China’s massive logistical, technological, and doctrinal weaknesses in the Western Pacific.
Why Does the United States Require the B-21 in opposition to China?
Every major US base is within range of China’s thousands of DF-16, DF-17, DF-21, DF-21D, and DF-26 missiles, which will be the first to be destroyed in the event of a full-fledged war. With Kadena in Japan and Guam “bombed out,” the United States can only stand by and watch as China surrounds and seizes Taiwan.
If the US intervenes, the Chinese can continue to fight from home and shoot down any American naval and air assets while incurring some acceptable and expected level of material and personnel losses. If the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) missiles fail, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) have the numbers and technology to prevent a US intervention while the rest of China’s military takes over Taiwan.
As a result, the B-21 strategic stealth bomber, along with the B-52s, the B-1 Lancer, and the B-2 Spirit, is at the forefront of the war in the western Pacific.
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