Northrop Grumman, a US defence company, just introduced the B-21 Raider, a new generation stealth nuclear bomber with a factory price of up to $ 700 million per. The total cost of the project is roughly USD 203 billion.
The AP reported that on December 2nd, the launch ceremony for this aircraft, also known as the “stealth killer,” took place quietly at Factory 42 in Palmdale, California (local time). In particular, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin attended this gathering.
The B-21 Raider, which made an appearance during the T1 event, is presently undergoing ground trials and is scheduled to fly for the first time in 2023.
Since the 1980s, when the B-2 Spirit series was put into service, the US has not launched a stealth bomber variant. It is marketed as “the world’s first real 6th generation stealth nuclear bomber,” according to manufacturer Northrop Grumman.
Commenting on the B-21 Raider, US Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek, emphasized: “It will be the backbone of the US strategic bomber force in the future. The B-21 Raider has the range and capability to fly. stealth and an arsenal of weapons capable of penetrating the most complex combat environments, allowing to threaten any target around the globe.”
The B-21 Raider’s particular features are unknown, but it is assumed that they include cutting-edge stealth technology, long-range manoeuvrability, the capacity to carry numerous weapons, and perhaps even automated force.
It is also said that it is a smart fighter with sensors, adaptable connection, data fusion, and the ability to perform electronic warfare and reconnaissance missions in addition to having a large bomb load.
According to Kathy Warden, CEO of Northrop Grumman, “The range and stealth characteristics of the B-21 Raider well exceed the specifications set forth by the US Air Force.” Future upgrades should be made. In comparison to the previous generation, the production procedure of this line also makes maintenance of the body and internal equipment considerably simpler.
Will the US sell B-21 Raider to Australia?
Analysts predict that the US will sell Australia B-21 Raider stealth nuclear bombers.
The rumours started after Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said that Canberra was thinking about “purchasing a fleet of modern bombers” in August. Frank Kendall, the head of the US Air Force, stated in August that Washington would think about giving Australia B-21s.
According to experts, the trilateral military pact between the US, Australia, and Britain allows the US to sell the B-21 Raider to Australia (Aukus Treaty). The Aukus Security Pact, which was signed in September 2021, aims to exchange cutting-edge defence technologies among the three partners.
“Perhaps the US would not have given us B-21 strategic bombers two years ago. But Aukus has altered everything “the report released on 12/12 by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) stated. Many experts disagree, though, and say the exact opposite. They assert that the US has never provided any other nation with bombers like the B-52, B-1, or B-2.
One analyst stated, “The US has no tradition of selling its long-range bombers to any country.” The US government has a history of being reluctant to sell its most cutting-edge weaponry, particularly when such weapons have a significant nuclear strike potential.
Of course, Australia must invest a considerable sum of money to staff a squadron of 12 B-21 Raiders. Even if “money is not a problem,” Australia could still be in peril.
Analysts warned that Australia’s acquisition of the B-21 would enrage China and heighten international tensions. Because of this, many analysts think that the Australian government should think again before deciding to purchase the US B-21 Raider stealth nuclear bomber.