Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider: A Profile

Since World War II the United States has maintained air superiority around the globe. The USA has long been the vanguard of military technology. The future of the Air Force’s stealth abilities is embodied in the futuristic B-21, a stealth long-ranger bomber. The B-21 has a longer range, newly developed stealth abilities, and greater endurance than previous similar bombers. The endurance and range of the B-21 allow the bomber to avoid surface to air defense systems and could also facilitate a quick strike anywhere in the world. The bomber’s formal name, “Raider”, was coined collectively by a competition amongst members of the Air Force are their close associates.

After the Air Force revealed the artist rendering of the B-21 bomber the Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James mentioned the intention to develop a new long-range, stealth bomber with capabilities to avoid detection. Despite the Air Force’s claims that the new bomber will be near impossible to detect, Russian media reports the United State’s stealth technology is useless when paired against their ground to air defenses. The S-300 and S-400 Russian ground defenses have an excellent reputation around the world. However, the Air Force Secretary insists the B-21 will prove to be superior to Russian defense systems.

The details of the B-21 are not available but nonetheless some details are apparent from the artist rendering of the bomber. The absence of exhaust pipes suggests the Air Force was able to circumvent the release of fumes that can be detected by heat-seeking weapons. Defense firm Northrop Grumman won a contract from the Air Force to engineer the B-21. The long term intention of the B-21 is to replace the late Cold War-era bomber the B-2. The Air Force seeks to begin using the B-21 by the mid-2020s and intends to purchase 20 to 50 B-21s at approximately $550 million. The technology developed for the B-21 is capable of being updated as defense systems around the world upgrade as well. Other details of the B-21 may include the capacity to fly unmanned and to potentially deliver nuclear weapons.

The B-21 represents the present moment and the future of United States air superiority and cements the US’s position in terms of military abilities.