Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider (LRS-B)
United States (2032)
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Northrop Grumman was awarded the rights to design, develop, and produce the next USAF strike bomber through the LRS-B initiative.
Detailing the development and operational history of the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider (LRS-B) Long Range Strike - Bomber / Stealth Heavy Bomber. Entry last updated on 6/28/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
Partners announced for the B-21 program are Pratt & Whitney (engines), BAe Systems (electronics), GKN Aerospace (metals and composites), Janicki Industries (composites and tooling), Orbital ATK (wing skins and nacelles), Spirit Aerosystems (metals and composites), and Rockwell Collins (communications). Northrop Grumman will provide the radar fit.
The B-21 is expected to enter service in the latter half of the 2020s with a target fleet of 100 aircraft. These will be used to succeed (perhaps optimistically at this point) the aging line of Boeing B-52, Rockwell B-1 and perhaps Northrop's own B-2 stealth bombers currently in service. The USAF's Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) is currently heading the venture.
Based on released artist renderings, the B-21 will have an all-wing planform not unlike the B-2 "Spirit" stealth bomber, incorporating all learned and possible new stealth techniques into its design. The flight crew numbers two and is seated at the apex of the arrow shape. All major compartments are seated at the center mass of the aircraft whose fuselage is blended into the wings to promote a very low profile. At rear, the engines will be embedded into the design and its exhaust protected as much as possible from IR locators. An unmanned option has been mentioned for the bomber. A retractable tricycle undercarriage is assumed for ground-running.
Picture of the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider (LRS-B) Long Range Strike - Bomber / Stealth Heavy Bomber
Any available statistics for the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider (LRS-B) Long Range Strike - Bomber / Stealth Heavy Bomber are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).
February 2016 - Work on the B-21 project began.
September 2016 - The name of "Raider" has been assigned to the B-21 by the USAF. It is in honor of the "Doolittle Raiders" of World War 2. The service seeks to purchase 100 B-21s at a cost of $564 million per aircraft.
March 2017 - It was announced that the B-21 had passed a pair of preliminary design reviews.
November 2017 - Requirements of the B-21 product, and its basic design, have been completed.
June 2018 - The B-21's Critical Design Review (CDR) is slated for completion before the end of 2018. The CDR phase precedes the component manufacturing step required to produce a flyable prototype.