On Tuesday, the Air Force gave us our second glimpse of America’s newest stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider, in two never-before-seen pictures taken inside the same Palmdale hangar the bomber was originally unveiled from. These images were reportedly taken prior to the unveiling, but were only released this week.
These two new pictures include a close-up of the Raider’s unusually shaped windscreens, which we’ve discussed at length before, as well as another view of the bomber itself from a higher angle than previous glimpses.
That image taken from a higher angle gives us our clearest view yet of the B-21’s unusual jet inlets, which are recessed within the blended wing body to minimize the bomber’s radar return. This represents one of the most striking differences between the Raider and its precursor, the Northrop B-2 Spirit.
The Northrop Grumman-led B-21 effort began in 2015 under the unassuming title of Long Range Strike-Bomber (LRS-B) and has since then served as a clinic in secrecy in the modern era. Despite the presence of high-resolution cameras in just about every pocket these days, not a single image of the B-21 has managed to leak onto the internet over seven years of development and with six test-model aircraft already nearing completion.
The B-21 Raider will enter service sometime in the mid-2020s, followed by the Air Force’s Next Generation Air Dominance fighter in the mid-2030s and the Navy’s F/A-XX fighter shortly after that.
Read more from Sandboxx News
- The most advanced bomber ever: Here’s what we know about the B-21 Raider
- How the B-21 Raider could shift power in the Pacific
- Here’s your first look at the B-21 Raider, America’s new stealth bomber
- Why the B-21 Raider is much more than an updated B-2 Spirit
- Doolittle’s Raiders: The legendary WWII namesake of the B-21