Northrop Grumman Corp recently rolled out its new B-21 “Raider” jet, the first of a new fleet of long-range stealth nuclear bombers for the United States Air Force.

 

About the B-21 raider

  • The B-21 Raider will employ cutting-edge stealth technologies to carry out nuclear missions and long-range bombing.
  • Each aircraft costing about $2 billion or Rs 1624 Crore to be built.
  • The B-21 Raider will be a subsonic aircraft.
  • Speed — Average of 563 miles per hour.
  • The B-21 Raider, which takes its name from the 1942 Doolittle Raid over Tokyo, will be slightly smaller than the B-2 to increase its range.
  • Other changes likely include advanced materials used in coatings to make the bomber harder to detect, new ways to control electronic emissions.
  • So the bomber could spoof adversary radars and disguise itself as another object, and use of new propulsion technologies.

 

Modernisation

  • The bomber is part of the Pentagon’s efforts to modernise all three legs of its nuclear triad, which includes silo-launched nuclear ballistic missiles and submarine-launched warheads, as it shifts from the counterterrorism campaigns of recent decades to meet China’s rapid military modernisation.
  • The U.S Air Force plans to build 100 that can deploy either nuclear weapons or conventional bombs and can be used with or without a human crew.