The U.S. Air Force delegates expect the first flight of super-secret B-21 Raider long-range attack bomber to take place in late 2021.
In an op-ed for The Air Force Magazine, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson mentioned the brand new B-21 Raider furtiveness bomber is showing good progress and will fly in December 2021.
That would put the first flight of the B-21 in December 2021. The Air Force has stated from the start that the first B-21 would be a “useable asset” but has further said it doesn’t expect an initial working capability with the B-21 before the “mid-2020s.”
The B-21 Raider bomber is a long-range, highly survivable plane capable of drilling and operating in future anti-access, area-denial conditions. The brand new bomber will play in permitting the Air Force to function in future high-end threat atmosphere, and in providing the Air Force the flexibility and capability to launch from the continental United States and deliver airstrikes on any location on this planet.
Wilson also noted that the Air Force is “centered on the development of the brand new bomber in addition to improving the B-52,” with new motors and radar, “and we’re exploring the force structure between the B-1 the B-2 and the B-52.”
Although the first B-21s are expected in the mid-2020s, the Air Force doesn’t wish to retire the existing bombers until there are enough B-21s to replace them. The AirPower hasn’t decided which location will receive the bomber first.
Wilson further stated that while the Air Force “isn’t going to get any new B-52s,” AFGSC would possibly still take “one or two out of the boneyard.” He noted that Ray has “already taken one B-52 out of the boneyard.”