US Air Force unveils new B-21 Raider stealth bomber today. Here's what we know 

December 3, 2022

By Ramya

How can I watch B-21 unveiling? 

The B-21 Raider will be unveiled at a ceremony at Northrop Grumman's facility in Palmdale, California on Friday (Dec. 2) at 8:00 p.m. EST (0100 GMT on Dec. 3). You can watch the ceremony live on YouTube (opens in new tab) courtesy of Edwards Air Force Base.

How many B-21 Raiders will be built? 

For now, there are six B-21 aircraft in various stages of production and the Air Force plans to acquire at least 100 of the new bombers, with the first one entering service in the mid-2020s. Shown is a B-21 Raider artist rendering graphic.

How much does the B-21 cost? 

The B-21, which the Air Force hopes will cost just $750 million a plane, could suffer the same fate. That would be a catastrophic outcome for U.S. strategy in the western Pacific. The Pentagon needs the Raider, and the Raider program, to work. Follow me on Twitter.

Has the B-21 flown yet? 

The Raider will not make its first flight until 2023. However, using advanced computing, Warden said, Northrop Grumman has been testing the Raider's performance using a digital twin, a virtual replica of the one being unveiled.

Who makes the B-21 Raider? 

The Air Force on Friday unveiled its newest stealth bomber aircraft, the B-21 Raider, in Palmdale, California. Built by Northrop Grumman, the bomber was named in honor of the “courageous spirit” of airmen who carried out the surprise World War II Doolittle Raid.

How many engines will the B-21 have? 

The Air Force has not said if the B-21 will be powered by two or four engines, but the consensus among aerospace analysts is that the jet likely uses Pratt's F135 engine, which also equips the F-35 fighter.

Is the B-21 better than the b2? 

The new B-21 Raider bears a family resemblance to the B-2 Spirit, but the two bombers will differ substantially in size, and likely their number of engines and payload. Critically, the B-21 will also be far more advanced in terms of low-observable technology—at least two generations beyond its elder stablemate.