The U.S. Air Force and Northrop Grumman plan to unveil the latest stealth aircraft called the B-21 Raider at the company’s facility in Palmdale, California, this Friday.
“The B-21 is the most advanced military aircraft ever built and is a product of pioneering innovation and technological excellence,” Dough Young, sector vice president and general manager at Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems said in a press release. “The Raider showcases the dedication and skills of the thousands of people working every day to deliver this aircraft.”
An artist rendering of the proposed B-21 Raider jet above Edwards Air Force Base in California.
(United States Air Force)
Northrop was awarded a contract in 2015 to design and build the world’s most advanced strike aircraft.
The B-21 was made using advanced manufacturing techniques and breakthrough stealth technology. It is a sixth-generation aircraft, which Northrop Corporate President Tom Jones said is “optimized for operations in highly contested environments.”
The plane, according to Northrop’s website, is designed to perform long-range conventional and nuclear missions.
The estimated cost to develop, purchase and operate 100 aircraft is estimated at $203 billion, or about $2 billion per plane.
Currently, the company has six aircraft being assembled in Palmdale and the first B-21 is set to take flight sometime in 2023, depending on ground test results.
The unveiling on Friday is by invitation only.
Northrop Grumman Corp develops and manufactures advanced aircraft systems. The Aeronautics Systems segment engages in the design, development, production, integration, sustainment, and modernization of advanced management systems, weapons systems and aircraft, and mission systems.