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U.S. military's bomber B-21 Raider takes first flight

U.S. military's bomber B-21 Raider takes first flight Photo: The U.S. Air Defense's bomber B-21 Raider (

The U.S. Air Force's B-21 Raider bomber, featuring a "flying wing" design, has conducted its inaugural flight today, writes Reuters.

The B-21 departed from the Northrop facility in Palmdale, California, at dawn on Friday. According to a Reuters witness, the aircraft took off at around seven in the morning.

The B-21, featuring the same flying wing design as its predecessor, the B-2, is capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear weapons worldwide, utilizing long-range aerial refueling capabilities.

Here's what is known about this aircraft

  • Reuters reports that each aircraft will cost approximately $750 million with adjustments for inflation.
  • According to a Congressional Research Service report for the year 2021, the U.S. Air Force kept specific pricing information classified, complicating the verification of the proposed cost.
  • The U.S. Air Force plans to procure at least 100 B-21 Raider bombers, initiating the replacement of B-1 and B-2 bombers. According to the Pentagon, the operational cost of the B-1 is approximately $60,000 per hour, and the B-2 is around $65,000 per hour.

The B-21 Raider was officially presented in the United States in late November of the previous year. The Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, later officially introduced this state-of-the-art strategic bomber.