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New US B-21 bomber should have political support

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Significance

The long-range, low-observable B-21, built by Northrop Grumman, is due to replace the company’s earlier B-2 within the next five years. The two aircraft share Northrop’s ‘flying wing’ profile, but the B-21 will be cheaper, more advanced and broader in its mission capabilities.

Impacts

  • Judging by development spending to date, the B-21 will cost less to operate than the B-2.
  • Northrop Grumman is running a sophisticated public relations campaign to raise awareness of the aircraft.
  • The B-21 programme will use 400 suppliers in 40 US states, ensuring a broad base of congressional support.
  • The USAF is stressing that B-21 operations can be integrated with the militaries of allies and partners.

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