New generation nuclear bomber B-21 Raider will make its first flight later than expected. This was announced by Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall (Frank Kendall) at the conference McAleese & Associates in Washington.
What is known
Northrop Grumman said a few weeks ago that it hoped to sign the first contract for the supply of a nuclear bomber. B-21 Raider until the end of 2023. On the other hand, the US Air Force leadership noted that the aircraft must first pass all the tests, and only then it will be possible to talk about the purchase.
As it became known, the B-21 Raider will make its first flight two months later than planned. Although it should be noted that there was no exact information about exactly when the plane should take off. However, Frank Kendall stated that the bomber’s flight was “still on baseline”. Northrop Grumman representatives added that the company still hopes to make the first flight in 2023.
At a press conference with reporters, Kendall declined to clarify what exactly caused the schedule shift. He said the delay was due to an internal schedule set by the US Air Force and did not indicate major problems with the aircraft’s development program.
Earlier this week it became known that the US Air Force requested $ 2.3 billion for the development of the B-21 Raider program. This will allow the service acquire “more than one” nuclear bomber in fiscal year 2024.
The first aircraft, number 001, has been undergoing ground testing in recent months in preparation for its maiden flight to Edwards Air Force Base in California, where the US Air Force will conduct further flight tests. In total, Northrop Grumman has six prototypes in various stages of production.
Source: Defense News