KSNF/KODE — The US Air Force is set to lift the veil of secrecy around the B-21 Raider, a highly-classified, next-generation stealth bomber, with a formal rollout planned for the first week in December.
The timing of the rollout was announced Tuesday by Northrop Grumman.
The aeronautics technology company won the contract in 2015 to design, test, and build the world’s most advanced strike aircraft.
“The B-21 is the most advanced military aircraft ever built and is a product of pioneering innovation and technological excellence. The Raider showcases the dedication and skills of the thousands of people working every day to deliver this aircraft,” said Doug Young, Sector Vice President and General Manager of Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems.
Six B-21 test aircraft are in various stages of final assembly in Palmdale, California.
Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force confirmed in May that the first flight of the B-21 is projected for 2023.
The actual timing of first flight will be based on ground test outcomes.
When the new fleet of stealth aircraft are ready for service, Missouri will be their new home.
Whiteman Air Force Base (AFB) in Missouri, along with Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota will be the B-21′s first operating bases, with Dyess Air Force Base in Texas to follow.
Whiteman AFB, located near Knob Noster, Missouri in Johnson County, is approximately 70 miles southeast of Kansas City.
Whiteman AFB is home to the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit (also known as the Stealth Bomber), an American heavy strategic bomber featuring low observable stealth technology designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses.