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US Air Force names new stealth bomber as B-21 "Raider"


An artistic rendering of the new USAF bomber. An USAF image

WASHINGTON (BNS): The US Air Force's futuristic long-range stealth bomber has been named B-21 "Raider".

The announcement was made by US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James at the Air Force Association's national conference in National Harbor, Maryland on September 19.

The advanced long-range strike plane, slated to replace the older-generation B-52 and B-1 bombers of the US Air Force, is being built by Northrop Grumman-led industry team.

Northrop had won a contract in October last year to develop and build 100 new bombers for the USAF which expects to field them by mid-2020s. 

"The B-21's name embodies the legacy and power projection of the Air Force's long range strike capability. We are proud to partner with the Air Force to deliver a system that is so vital to our national security," said Tom Vice, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.

"As the only company to ever design, build, deliver and modernize a long-range stealth system, we are committed to delivering the fleet of bombers for the 21st century," he said.

The new-generation bomber design was officially unveiled for the first time in February 2016 with the Air Force designating it as B-21.

The stealth plane would be capable of striking any target worldwide, according to Northrop which is partnering with seven primary industry teammates to develop the new aircraft.

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