The new stealth nuclear bomber of the United States is presented in public after years of development in secrecy and as part of the Pentagon’s response to growing concerns about a future conflict with China.
The B-21 Raiders it is the first new American bomber aircraft in more than 30 years. Almost every aspect of the show is classified. Prior to their unveiling Friday at an Air Force facility in Palmdale, Calif., only artistic representations of the fighter plane. Those few images revealed that the Raider resembles the black nuclear stealth bomber it will eventually replace, the B-2 Spirit.
The bomber is part of the Pentagon’s efforts to modernize all three arms of its nuclear triad, which includes silo-launched nuclear ballistic missiles and submarine-launched warheads, as it shifts challenges from the anti-terror campaigns of the past decades to the China‘s rapid military modernization.
China is on track to have 1,500 nuclear weapons by 2035, and its achievements in hypersonics, cyber warfare, space capabilities and other areas present “the most significant systemic challenge to the national security of the United States and the free and open international system,” it reported. this week the Pentagon in its annual report on China.
“We needed a new bomber for the 21st century that would allow us to deal with much more complicated threats, like the threats we fear one day from China or Russia.”Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force, stated when the Raider contract was announced in 2015. “The B-21 is more survivable and can take on these much more difficult threats.”
Although the Raider may look like the B-2 on the outside, on the inside the similarities disappear, said Kathy Warden, chief executive of Northrop Grumman Corp., which builds the Raider.
“The way it operates internally is extremely advanced compared to the B-2, because the technology has evolved so much in terms of computing power that we can now incorporate it into the B-21 software,” Warden added.
(With information from AP)
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