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The U.S. Air Force and Northrop Grumman plan to unveil the latest stealth aircraft called the B-21 Raider at the company’s facility in Palmdale, California, this Friday.
“The B-21 is the most advanced military aircraft ever built and is a product of pioneering innovation and technological excellence,” Dough Young, sector vice president and general manager at Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems said in a press release. “The Raider showcases the dedication and skills of the thousands of people working every day to deliver this aircraft.”
Northrop was awarded a contract in 2015 to design and build the world’s most advanced strike aircraft. The B-21 was made using advanced manufacturing techniques and breakthrough stealth technology. It is a sixth-generation aircraft, which Northrop Corporate President Tom Jones said is “optimized for operations in highly contested environments.” The plane, according to Northrop’s website, is designed to perform long-range conventional and nuclear missions.
The estimated cost to develop, purchase and operate 100 aircraft is estimated at $203 billion, or about $2 billion per plane. Currently, the company has six aircraft being assembled in Palmdale and the first B-21 is set to take flight sometime in 2023, depending on ground test results.
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