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The U.S. Air Force has released the first official photos of the B-21 Raider stealth bomber in flight

The U.S. Air Force has released the first official photos of the B-21 Raider stealth bomber in flight
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The US Air Force has released the first official images of the B-21 Raider bomber in flight.

The new strategic bomber Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider has a wingspan of 40 m, an empty weight of 31,750 kg, and the most stealthy profile in the world. This aircraft is intended to become the third element of the US nuclear deterrence forces by the 2050s, replacing the B-1B Lancer and B-2 Spirit. Flight tests began in November 2023, and in early 2024, Northrop Grumman started production of the stealth bomber.

Previously, images of the B-21 Raider were published by enthusiasts, and now the US Air Force has posted 3 official photos. In one of them, the aircraft is in a hangar, and in the other two, it is in flight. The photos were taken during a recent test.

The images provide some new information, including clear views of the pointed nose of the B-21 Raider and the stealthy trailing edges of the fuselage tail wing. Also visible is the red-painted Pitot tube, which is not part of the operational equipment but is used to collect flight data during tests.

In addition, the engine air intakes and an open hatch on the upper surface, which could be an intake for an auxiliary engine, can be seen.

The B-21 Raider is designed to work alongside the B-1, B-2, and B-52 bombers, which currently make up the air component of the American nuclear triad. Over time, it will replace the older aircraft. The stealth design and high speed of the B-21 Raider will allow it to penetrate enemy airspace to deliver both nuclear and conventional payloads. It is expected to enter service by the mid-2020s with a production goal of 100 aircraft.

Source: newatlas

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