U.S. postpones B-21 Raider’s maiden flight once again
Once the aircraft is in production, its acquisition by the United States Air Force (USAF) could be accelerated to expedite the retirement of the B-1 and B-2 bombers. Six B-21 bombers are being manufactured at Northrop Grumman’s Palmdale, California. One rolled off the assembly line in mid-March 2022 and began ground testing.
The B-21 will be in service by 2026, gradually replacing the B-2 Spirit and B-1 Lancer strategic bombers. The USAF plans to operate a two-bomber fleet of B-21s and modified B-52s in the future. It aims to order 100 strategic bombers, more than the combined fleet of B-1s and B-2s.