The Air Force recently released two new photos of its new stealth bomber, known as the B-21 raider, including a never-before-seen side angle.
The photos were taken in July, but released about a week ago on the United States military’s Defense Visual Information Distribution Service website.
Its first flight is anticipated to take place sometime this year, and is expected to enter service by 2027. The B-21 Raider is expected to replace the B-1 and B-2 bombers by 2040.
The B-21 Raider was first unveiled to the public during a ceremony at Northrop Grumman’s manufacturing facility in Palmdale, California on December 2, 2022.
The long-range stealth bomber will be capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions.
According to the Air Force, the bomber will have an “open systems architecture” to allow the bomber to integrate new technology as it matures and adapt to future threats.
“The B-21 Raider will be the backbone of the bomber fleet and will incrementally replace the B-1 and B-2 bombers as sufficient numbers of B-21s are available. The state-of-the-art bomber will provide survivable, long-range, penetrating strike capabilities to deter aggression and protect the United States, allies, and partners,” a description of the aircraft on DVIDS said.
“Designed to operate in tomorrow’s high-end threat environment, the B-21 will play a critical role in ensuring America’s enduring airpower capability,” another description read.
The B-21 Raider will cost nearly $700 million for each aircraft, with at least 100 are slated to be made, according to Time.