USAF | Maiden flight images of the B-21 Raider
Defence Redefined
Published on 26/05/2024 at 12:48

The US Air Force (USAF) presented images of the new B-21 Raider stealth bomber in its maiden flight.

The B-21 is already in the testing phase, having received approval for initial low-rate production earlier this year. Flight testing continues apace at USAF Edwards Air Force Base.

These first images of the B-21 in flight are particularly significant given that no official photographs had been released, although video of its maiden flight was released in November 2023.

Of the photos revealed, one depicts the stealth bomber and another the take-off phase. 

However, the most impressive photo captures the B-21 in the sky. Details of the new bomber’s development program remain top secret.

According to USAF, the tests are progressing with remarkable efficiency, offering valuable insights into the unique characteristics of the new platform. 

The B-21 Raider is expected to enter service in the mid-2020s, with a target of at least 100 aircraft being produced.

It is a digital bomber as Northrop Grumman uses digital engineering tools to mitigate production risk in the program and enable modern sustainability practices. 

At the same time, Northrop Grumman and the US Air Force successfully migrated B-21 ground systems data to a cloud environment. This demonstration included the development and testing of B-21 data, including the B-21 digital twin, which will support B-21 operations and maintenance. 

Finally, to respond to the evolving threat environment, the B-21 is characterized by an open architecture design, which enables the seamless integration and certification of new capabilities and weapons through flexible software upgrades.

Also read: USAF | Maiden flight of the new B-21 Raider stealth bomber – VIDEO




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