THE US’s brand new nuclear stealth bomber has been spotted soaring through the sky in a chilling warning to world leaders Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.
Footage taken outside the US Air Force’s classified aircraft manufacturing plant in California on Friday showed the B-21 Raider take flight for the very first time accompanied by a F-16 chase plane.
The brand new nuclear stealth bomb was spotted soaring through the sky on Friday
Its highly-anticipated take-off serves as a warning to Putin and Xi
SWNSThe B-21 was unveiled to the public at a ceremony in December last year[/caption]
It is understood to have been travelling to Edwards Air Force Base, where it will now undergo formal flight testing.
The Raider was designed to deter attacks against the US, its allies, and its partners and its highly-anticipated take-off could deter threats, or be taken as a threat, by its nuclear-armed competitors, China and Russia.
Vice-president of Northrop Grumman’s strike division Doug Young said last year: “With the capability to hold targets at risk anywhere in the world, this weapon system is critical to our national security.”
About 100 planes are expected to enter service with the US Air Force in the mid-2020s, replacing the Air Force’s B-2 and B-1 bombers.
US Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek explained on Friday: “The B-21 Raider is in flight testing.
“Flight testing is a critical step in the test campaign managed by the Air Force Test Centre and 412th Test Wing’s B-21 Combined Test Force to provide survivable, long-range, penetrating strike capabilities to deter aggression and strategic attacks against the United States, allies, and partners,” she told The War Zone.
Many aspects of the B-21 program, such as its speed, size, required stealth, projected weapons, and onboard sensors are highly classified – but the Raider is thought to have drawn much of its design from its predecessors.
More details about the B-21’s capabilities may increasingly emerge now that it has taken its first flight.
The planes have been described as “multi-functional” and will be capable of much more than conventional.
Secretary of Defense Austin said last year: “It can handle anything from gathering intel to battle management.”
It comes after the US’s defence department revealed a new nuclear bomb 24 times more powerful than the one dropped over Hiroshima is currently under development.
The B61-13, a new version of the B61 nuclear “gravity bomb”, will have a similar yield to its predecessor B61-7, which can have a maximum load of 360 kilotons.
It is 14 times larger than the bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.
More details about the B-21 and its capabilities may emerge following its initial flightLeave a comment