ugc_banner

US unveils new B-21 stealth bomber capable of uncrewed flight

Palmdale, United StatesEdited By: Manas JoshiUpdated: Dec 03, 2022, 04:27 PM IST
main img
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks at the B-21 Raider unveiling ceremony at Northrop Grumman's Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, December 2, 2022. The high-tech stealth bomber can carry nuclear and conventional weapons and is designed to be able to fly without a crew on board. The B-21 -- which is on track to cost nearly $700 million per plane and is the first new US bomber in decades -- will gradually replace the B-1 and B-2 aircraft, which first flew during the Cold War. Photograph:(AFP)

Story highlights

Many specifics of the aircraft are being kept under wraps, but the plane will offer significant advances over existing bombers in the US fleet.

The United States on Friday (December 3) unveiled B-21 Raider, a high-tech stealth bomber that can carry both nuclear and conventional weapons. The bomber is designed to fly without a crew on board. 

The bomber was unveiled at a slickly choreographed ceremony at Northrop Grumman's facility in Palmdale, California. Northrop Grumman is manufacturing the bomber. The ceremony opened with US national anthem as older bombers roared over a crowd that included top US officials.

Dramatic music played and lights flashed as the doors of a hanger holding the new aircraft slowly opened, and the crowd applauded as the cloth covering it was pulled away to reveal a sleek grey bomber that is on track to cost nearly $700 million per plane.

"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," US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said in remarks at the ceremony.

Many specifics of the aircraft are being kept under wraps, but the plane will offer significant advances over existing bombers in the US fleet, which Austin highlighted in his remarks.

He hailed its range -- "no other long-range bomber can match its efficiency" -- and its durability, saying it is "designed to be the most maintainable bomber ever built".

Like the F-22 and F-35 warplanes, the B-21 features stealth technology, which minimizes an aircraft's signature through both its shape and the materials it is constructed from, making it harder for adversaries to detect.

"Fifty years of advances in low-observable technology have gone into this aircraft," Austin said. "Even the most sophisticated air defence systems will struggle to detect the B-21 in the sky."

The plane is also built with an "open system architecture," which allows for the incorporation of "new weapons that haven't even been invented yet," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

You can now write for wionews.com and be a part of the community. Share your stories and opinions with us here.

WATCH WION LIVE HERE