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Wed, Jul 10, 2019

First B-21 Raider Test Article Is Being Manufactured

Schedule For First Flight Is A Closely-Held Secret

The first B-21 Raider stealth bomber test article is being manufactured by Northrop Grumman, according to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein.

Fox News reports that Goldfein told an audience at an event hosted by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies that the Air Force is "closely monitoring the build of the additional test aircraft and associated software to support the first flight," but did not offer any further details about the highly-secret program.

What the Air Force will say is that the new bomber will incorporate a new generation of stealth technology.

The Raider recently passed a critical design review, and the Air Force moved the airplane into its Engineering Manufacturing and Design phase. That is the point at which weapons and systems are developed and built. Subsystems, avionics and weapons integration are also being developed, as well as the external configuration of the aircraft.

The new stealth technology is being developed in response to advancements in radar and air defense weapons being deployed by Russia and China. Technological advances are allowing stealth aircraft to be detected with greater accuracy. The B-21 is being manufactured to address those specific challenges.

Top Air Force officials say that when it is operational, the Raider will be capable of holding "any target at-risk, anywhere in the world, at any time.”

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report

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