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New B-21 Raider Bomber Reveals Striking Images; Courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

Photo: BBC

In an eagerly awaited reveal, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. and defense contractor Northrop Grumman have unveiled striking new imagery of the enigmatic B-21 Raider bomber.

New B-21 Raider Bomber Reveals Striking Images; Courtesy of the U.S. Air Force (Photo:

 A Rare Outdoor Sighting: The B-21 Raider Emerges

In a recent report published by The Aviationist, in September 12, 2023, the cloak of secrecy surrounding the B-21 Raider Bomber has been partially lifted, offering aviation enthusiasts and defense experts a fresh glimpse of this cutting-edge aircraft. Both the U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., and defense contractor Northrop Grumman have unveiled new imagery of the enigmatic B-21 Raider bomber. These revelations, presented at the AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference, provide valuable insights into the aircraft’s design, testing progress, and potential capabilities.

In a notable departure from its usual covert status, the B-21 Raider bomber  was recently photographed outdoors at Northrop Grumman’s Palmdale, California facility. Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. showcased these images during his keynote address.

This unprecedented outdoor appearance provides a unique opportunity to scrutinize the aircraft’s design elements, including its air data probe, air intakes, landing gear doors, and flight control surfaces. The downward-angled air data probe hints at the bomber’s potential flight characteristics, suggesting a slight pitch-up attitude during flight.

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B-21 Raider Bomber: Progress in Ground Testing and Maintenance Focus

According to the recent development released by Air and Space Forces, separately, Northrop Grumman announced that the B-21 Raider has commenced engine runs as part of its ground testing program. These tests mark significant strides towards the aircraft’s anticipated first flight in 2023. Moreover, the images underline the B-21 Raider bomber’s maintenance advancements, emphasizing its low-observance maintenance capabilities. This simplification of maintenance processes ensures greater aircraft availability, making the B-21 easier to repair and maintain than its predecessors. Gen. Duke Z. Richardson of the Air Force Materiel Command also emphasized the pivotal role played by maintainers in the B-21 program, showcasing their vital contributions to this revolutionary aircraft.

The B-21 Raider bomber  is poised to become the cornerstone of the U.S. bomber fleet, gradually replacing the aging B-1 and B-2 bombers. This state-of-the-art aircraft offers survivable, long-range, and penetrating strike capabilities, serving as a deterrent against aggression and safeguarding the United States, its allies, and partners. As development continues, the B-21 Raider’s journey from design to maintenance remains a testament to the collaborative efforts of operators, acquisition professionals, and maintenance crews, ensuring its readiness to defend the nation in the years to come.

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