It’s Mike Stone
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Northrop Grumman Corp on Friday unveiled its new B-21 “Raider” fighter jet, the first in a new fleet of long-range nuclear weapons for the United States Air Force.
The B-21 was unveiled at a surprise ceremony at Northrop’s Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, giving the public the first glimpse of the new bomber.
The B-21, which carries a similar “flying wing” design to its predecessor, the B-2, will be able to deliver nuclear and nuclear weapons around the world using long-range and mid-range capabilities.
The airline is expected to cost about $550 million each in 2010 dollars, or about $750 million at today’s inflation-adjusted rates.
The Air Force planned to purchase at least 100 aircraft and began replacing the B-1 and B-2 bombers.
Northrop defeated a group that included Boeing (NYSE: ) Co and Lockheed Martin Corp (NYSE: ) when it won a 2015 contract to build a bomb. Engine manufacturers Pratt & Whitney, Collins Aerospace, GKN (LON:) Aerospace, BAE Systems (OTC:) and Spirit Aerosystems are among the more than 400 suppliers in 40 states.
Northrop calls the aircraft a sixth-generation aircraft because of its ability to connect with other aircraft and easily integrate future equipment into its design.
The B-21 also has tough, stealthy features that will require less maintenance and save labor costs and less time, said Doug Young, divisional vice president and general manager at. Northrop Grumman (NYSE:) Aeronautics Systems, told Reuters in an interview.
The show presented the first video and photos of the new bomber. In the past, only professional drawings were published.
Six of the planes, which are due to take off for the first time in 2023, are in different assembly groups. More than 8,000 people from Northrop Grumman, industry partners and the Air Force are currently working on the program.