The B-21 nuclear stealth bomber, which will gradually replace aircraft initially used during the Cold War, has been presented by the US Air Force.
The first brand-new bomber in 30 years might cost close to $700 million (£569 million) each and be equipped to carry both nuclear and conventional missiles.
As may be expected, little is known about the aircraft’s precise specifications.
However, according to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, it was “a monument to America’s lasting advantages in intellect and innovation.”
At a ceremony held on Friday at the Northrop Grumman facility in California, the B-21 Raider was unveiled.
Even the most advanced air defense systems will fail to identify the B-21 in the skies, according to Mr. Austin, who claimed that the aircraft will provide considerable improvements over the US fleet’s current bombers.
He said, “Fifty years of low-observable technology advancements have gone into this aircraft.”
The “open system design” of the aircraft, he continued, enables for the adoption of “new weaponry that haven’t even been conceived.”
Although it was not addressed during the event, the aircraft was “provisioned for the possibility, but there has not been a decision to fly without a crew,” according to a US Air Force spokeswoman.
It’s anticipated that a B-21 will fly for the first time in 2019.
It will eventually replace the B-1 and B-2 aircraft, and Bloomberg estimates that it will cost $203 billion (£165 million) to build, acquire, and operate the fleet over a 30-year period.
The manufacturer stated that six planes are now being produced and that they would have the “next generation of stealth” as well as some “new manufacturing techniques and materials.”
At least 100 of the planes will be purchased by the US Air Force.