US Air Force Unveils New Look at Futuristic Bomber the Like of Which 'The World Has Never Seen'


The U.S. Air Force released images this week of its new B-21 Raider, which is scheduled for its first flight later this year.

The B-21, the new stealth bomber slated to replace the older B-1 and B-2 bombers, was designed to be part of America’s nuclear deterrent to help stave off the possibility of a nuclear conflict.

“The world has never seen technology like what Northrop Grumman developed for our B-21,” the company said on its website.

“Integrated deterrence is enabled by credible forces that are backstopped by a safe, secure, effective nuclear deterrent,” Gen. Thomas A. Bussiere, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, told attendees at the 2023 Air and Space Forces Warfare Symposium in Aurora, Colorado, on Tuesday.

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Bussiere noted Russia’s recent modernization of its nuclear arsenal, including “developing new exotic nuclear weapons systems” as necessitating an American response, according to an Air Force statement.

He also referred to “the Chinese intent to become the leading global economic and military power by 2050,” according to the statement, saying that the Chinese nuclear forces were “sprinting to parity” with the U.S.

“China and the CCP are sprinting to parity with their nuclear force – diversifying, expanding and modernizing at a pace that we haven’t seen since the Cold War.”

The B-21 was designed to be one of the “credible, modern systems” Bussiere said were necessary to convince America’s enemy’s that any attempt to wage nuclear war with the U.S. would not end well for them.

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“Fundamentally, it’s all about combat credibility – we deliver long-range strike, and we provide nuclear and conventional deterrence,” he said.

The B-21 Raider is named after the Doolittle Raid of Apr. 18, 1942, which demonstrated that the Japanese mainland was vulnerable to American attacks by dropping bombs on and near Tokyo.

According to Northrop Grumman, the aircraft’s manufacturer, the B-21 will be capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear weapons.

“Six B-21 Raiders are in various stages of final assembly and test at Northrop Grumman’s plant in Palmdale, California,” the company said in November.

“The B-21, which we rolled out just a few months ago, will be the centerpiece for our Global Strike family of systems,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said, according to The Drive. “The B-21 is projected to begin flight tests later this calendar year. Our goal is to get into production as quickly as possible with acceptable concurrency risk … overlapping some testing production.”

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Both its manufacturer and The Drive noted that the B-21 was designed to be easy to maintain and upgrade.

The Drive also noted the aircraft’s “B-21’s sinister-looking windscreen and very unique [sic] side windows.”

Northrop Grumman said the Air Force planned to purchase at least 100 Raiders, but added — hopefully, no doubt — that “[s]ome defense analysts believe that the Air Force should plan to purchase at least 200 B-21s.”

“As adversaries continue to invest in and develop advanced weapons, the B-21 Raider will provide the United States with a strategic asset capable of penetrating enemy air defenses and reaching targets anywhere in the world — something approximately 90 percent of the nation’s current bomber fleet is incapable of doing,” the company said.

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George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Beta Gamma Sigma
B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG
North Carolina
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Faith, Business, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics