Airpower supremacy was on display as the U.S. Air Force publicly unveiled the B-21 Raider, America’s first new, long-range strike bomber in a generation. While it won’t be operational for a number of years, nevertheless, the groundbreaking public unveiling at Northrop Grumman’s production facilities in California was a clear warning shot to all around the world - America’s military dominates the skies with cutting-edge, industry leading aircraft. The B-21 is the first new bomber to be introduced since the end of the Cold War.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin said during the ceremony, "The B-21 Raider is the first strategic bomber in more than three decades...It is a testament to America’s enduring advantages in ingenuity and innovation. And its proof of the Department’s long-term commitment to building advanced capabilities that will fortify America’s ability to deter aggression, today and into the future.” Moreover, said Austin, "This isn’t just another airplane. It’s not just another acquisition. … It’s the embodiment of America’s determination to defend the republic that we all love. It’s a testament to our strategy of deterrence—with the capabilities to back it up, every time and everywhere.”
The specific B-21 unveiled Dec. 2 is one of just six bombers under production. Each is considered a test aircraft; however, each is being built on the same production line, using the same tools, processes, and technicians who will build production aircraft.
Air Force officials envision an ultimate fleet of at least 100 aircraft with an average procurement unit cost requirement of $692 million (base year 2022 dollars).
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