Second B-21 Under Construction as Bomber Moves Toward First Flight
Artist rendering of a B-21 Raider concept in a hangar at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, one of the future bases to host the new airframe. Photo: Courtesy of Northrop Grumman via USAF.
Production of a second B-21 stealth bomber is underway at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Palmdale, Calif., while the first Raider is expected to roll out in early 2022 and fly in the middle of that year, according to Randall Walden, director of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office.
The Air Force predicted it could fly the secretive B-21 for the first time in December 2021. But in an exclusive interview with Air Force Magazine, Walden said that forecast was always a best-case scenario, and that first flight in mid-2022 is now a “good bet.”
The first Raider hasn’t yet reached final assembly, he said, but is “really starting to look like a bomber.” A second plane, now moving down the production line, will allow the Air Force to vet the airframe, Walden said.
“The second one is really more about structures, and the overall structural capability,” he explained. “We’ll go in and bend it, we’ll test it to its limits, make sure that the design and the manufacturing and the production line make sense.”
Lt. Gen. James C. Dawkins, Jr., deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration, said Jan. 14 that the B-21 will be available for service around 2026 or 2027. According to the Congressional Budget Office in 2018, the Air Force estimated the cost of developing and buying the first 100 aircraft at $80 billion in 2016 dollars.
The bomber leg of the nuclear triad is comprised of “B-52s and B-2s, and in another six or seven years, the B-21,” Dawkins said during a Heritage Foundation event on the nuclear-tipped Long-Range Standoff Weapon.
Lessons learned from producing the first airplane are being applied to the second, Walden said. That work is progressing “much faster” as workers figure out how to build the airplane in real life, rather than operating off of a blueprint’s assumptions. The team is creating more space for test aircraft as the two bombers come together, he added.
“It’s looking pretty good,” Walden said. “We’re very pleased with the … very high percentages of efficiency” in building the second aircraft, “as compared to No. 1.”
First flight will only happen after elaborate coordination with Northrop Grumman, major suppliers, and the test community to ensure “that we are ready to go,” Walden said.
“Just like any aircraft program, there’s going to be surprises” during engine runs and other prep work that could affect first flight, he said. “We will correct those as it makes sense.”
Program officials are trying to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic’s effects on the aerospace industry before they can drastically affect the B-21’s progress.
“Suppliers across the country are actively delivering parts to Palmdale and we’re doing what we can to help in that regard,” Walden said. The program is closely working with the supply base to ensure slower parts delivery don’t delay the airplanes at the same rate.
“It seems to be working quite well,” he said.
Spirit Aviation of Wichita, Kan., which supplies aerostructures on the B-21, shifted workers from Boeing’s 737 branch to the B-21 at the program’s request. That bolstered the B-21 effort by repurposing Boeing 737 MAX workers who otherwise would have been laid off, Walden said.
Orders for the MAX have dried up in the aftermath of that airplane’s two deadly crashes and the steep dropoff in air travel during the pandemic.
“The pandemic has slowed us in certain areas, but I think we have compensated,” Walden said. “I don’t think we’ve got significant delays to … first flight.”
Delays on the production line “will be mitigated,” he added, and any changes to the 2022 timeline will be communicated to Pentagon and congressional leadership. He believes the Air Force may bring more details about the bomber to light as its debut flight nears.
Walden also said the program is reducing risk by using a business-class jet as an avionics testbed, working out hardware and software kinks before transferring them to the B-21. Randall said it was analogous to Lockheed Martin’s Cooperative Avionics Testbed aircraft—nicknamed CATbird.
“We’re getting a lot of good feedback” from this effort, Walden said. The business jet is flying “real B-21 software” and helping illustrate how sensors and code will be added into the bomber test fleet.
“In the last few months, we did another successful end-to-end demonstration to further mature that hardware and software, and it’s working quite well,” Walden said. “We’re working not only in the flight test activities, but also working with the government test infrastructure to make sure that what we’re doing, from a system integration point of view, makes sense.”
“We’re preparing ourselves not just for first flight, but ultimately, the subsystem testing that will be required during those flight test phases,” he added.
Hardware and software will be vetted on the ground and in the air, and the bomber development team has “a lot of confidence” about powering up the first aircraft for its maiden voyage thanks to the risk-reduction efforts, Walden said.
As ranking member on the House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee, Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) is one lawmaker tasked with oversight of the multibillion-dollar program that is among the Pentagon’s top acquisition priorities to counter other advanced militaries. In 2018, Wittman said the B-21 was experiencing thrust issues related to the bomber’s inlet and serpentine ducting.
Those issues were fixed, Walden said.
“Overall, what Congressman Wittman did bring up was an example of one of those ‘surprises,’” Walden said. “We made that work.”
He declined to discuss the technical details of the problem, but said the fix “required some … basic changes to the design, of which we have a good understanding today through ground testing and engine testing.”
“It looks like we have solved it and we are moving forward with that final design,” Walden said.
Raytheon Technologies’s acquisition of engine maker Pratt & Whitney hasn’t caused hiccups for the B-21, and the change has been transparent, he noted.
Walden also reported that the beddown program is going well, saying a recent industry day at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., to discuss military construction and other support projects was a success.
The Air Force plans to spend about $300 million on military construction projects for the B-21 in fiscal 2022, Walden said, and $1 billion over five years. The service requested $2.8 billion for the plane’s research and development in fiscal 2021 alone, though the price tag is still evolving.
Quelle: AIR FORCE MAGAZINE
New B-21 Stealth Bomber Image Shows Stealth Windows
Shown is a B-21 Raider artist rendering that highlights the future stealth bomber at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Designed to perform long-range conventional and nuclear missions and to operate in tomorrow’s high-end threat environment, the B-21 will be a visible and flexible component of the nuclear triad. Air Force graphic.
The Air Force’s newest rendering of the secret B-21 bomber shows an exotic layout of cockpit windows. The image, the third released so far, offers a new oblique view of the aircraft from below its port side, suggesting a deeper keel and wider weapons bay than that of the B-2 bomber it will succeed. But the air intakes, which have been redesigned, are obscured.
The new B-21 Raider image was published July 6 along with a new fact sheet. The Air Force identified it as an “artist’s interpretation.” It shows the aircraft taking off from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., where it will be flight tested beginning early next year. The prior official illustrations were released in January 2021 and in February 2016.
The new picture shows a triangular, curved main forward cockpit window and a wide, arcing side window with no apparent interior framing. That departs from earlier views which showed B-2-style windows. Just aft of the side window is the Global Strike Command badge and stenciling for ground rescue instructions.
The nose of the aircraft confirms a more pronounced “Beak” or “Hawk’s bill” than on the B-2 Spirit, which the B-21 generally resembles. The underside of the aircraft seems to be deeper than the B-2, although details are obscured. When compared with the artist’s rendering released in January, the B-21 seems to have a greatly pronounced chine, or flattened leading edge, which then tapers into the blended-wing fuselage. This chine also marks a departure from the B-2, which has a more classic wing-like chord shape in cross section.
Northrop’s stealthy YF-23, which lost out to the F-22 in USAF’s Advanced Tactical Fighter competition some 30 years ago, also featured extended chines on the leading edges. The company’s X-47 autonomous carrier aircraft demonstrator featured an extended Hawk’s bill like that on the B-21.
The image obscures details of the B-21’s air intake, which underwent a “major redesign,” according to Program Executive Officer Randall Walden. He told Air Force Magazine early this year such a change is typical for a complex new aircraft program. New aircraft often have “installed engine inlet/exhaust integration issues that have to be resolved,” he said. Previous images have shown the intakes as shallow and straight-edged, unlike the B-2’s scalloped, rounded, and deep intakes.
Also absent from the new image is any detail of the exhaust, although it continues to show a tapered, pointed single tail in silhouette.
The image also suggests a two-tone paint scheme on the aircraft, with lighter gray above and darker gray below. There’s a sharp color break below the window, and the GSC badge is in dark gray, whereas such markings are in light gray on the B-2, to better contrast with that aircraft’s FS 36118 overall “Gunship Gray” paint scheme.
The January 2016 image also revealed that the B-21 rests on two two-wheel main landing gear, while the larger B-2 has four-wheel bogeys on each side. The new image suggests a thickening of the outer wing as well.
The new fact sheet released with the image mentions major program milestones and emphasizes the jet’s open-mission systems concept, which will make upgrades easier and quicker to incorporate. It does not provide any details on performance or dimensions but notes that the first B-21 operating base will be at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.
The fact sheet also mentions that the B-21 is part of the “larger family of systems” for conducting conventional long-range strike. This family includes “intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, electronic attack, communication and other capabilities,” the Air Force said. The fact sheet confirmed that the B-21 will be nuclear capable and is “designed to accommodate manned or unmanned operations … It will be able to employ a broad mix of stand-off and direct-attack munitions.”
The B-21’s name “Raider” honors the Doolittle Raiders who conducted the first bombing of Japan of World War II in retaliation for that country’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The April 1942 strike was carried out by B-25 Mitchell bombers flown off the aircraft carrier USS Hornet. The designation “B-21” refers to the first Air Force bomber of the 21st century.
The average procurement unit cost of the new bomber is $550 million in base year 2010 dollars; inflated to 2019, the cost is $639 million each, the fact sheet said.
Quelle: AIR FORCE MAGAZINE
First B-21 Moves to New Hangar for Loads Calibration
The first B-21 expected to fly is largely assembled and has moved to a calibration facility, in one of the last steps before powering systems and making final checks ahead of first flight, Rapid Capabilities Office Director Randall Walden reported.
In a sidebar at the AFA Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., Walden noted that “we’ve taken the first one out” of the production facility.
“It’s got landing gear. … It’s got wheels on it … It’s got the wings on it. It really looks like a bomber,” Walden said. Six B-21s are now under construction at Northrop Grumman’s Palmdale facility, he said.
The loads calibration test is a “normal thing you do” and ensures the structure “is designed and built to what we actually meant it to do.” Once that’s done, “that gives us great insight into, ‘Did the actual design meet our needs, and did the manufacturing of that meet our needs?’”
The calibration test aircraft has not yet been assigned a tail number or name, he said, but it’s expected to be the first to fly. Walden said supply chain issues have not significantly affected the production program, but he declined to predict when the rollout and first flight would occur.
Though Walden said it’s “not my final call,” he thinks there will be a formal rollout “with senior leaders and press” because “it will be an historical event.”
Then, there will have to be some “even driven, data driven” events, such as putting power to the aircraft, starting the engines, testing the hydraulics, “everything you normally do in a ground test to make sure it’s working properly.” There also will be slow- and high-speed taxi tests, he added.
“Once all that data informs where we stand from a design [standpoint], is when we’ll schedule that first flight,” Walden said. The first flight will likely be a hop to nearby Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Quelle:AIR FORCE MAGAZINE
US Air Force will unveil its advanced new B-21 Raider stealth bomber on Dec. 2.
Its manufacturer describes the B-21 as "the most advanced military aircraft ever built."
One of the most anticipated events in the aerospace world is set to happen in just one month.
On Dec. 2, the world will finally get a glimpse at the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider, a new stealth bomber aircraft that has been described by its manufacturer(opens in new tab) as "the most advanced military aircraft ever built." The company was first awarded the contract to build the B-21 for the United States Air Force (USAF) in 2015, and its entire production has been shrouded in secrecy ever since.
That secrecy is about to come to an end. The United States Air Force confirmed in an Oct. 20 statement(opens in new tab) that the B-21 will be revealed in a Dec. 2 ceremony at Northrop Grumman's production facility in Palmdale, California. "The unveiling of the B-21 Raider will be a historic moment for our Air Force and the nation," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. said in the statement.
Little is known about the capabilities or configuration of the B-21. What little has been publicly disclosed, according to a USAF fact sheet(opens in new tab), is that the B-21 will be capable of crewed and uncrewed flight and will be able to carry and deploy both conventional and nuclear weapons.
In addition, the stealth bomber is said to be capable of carrying out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions (ISR), conducting electronic warfare (such as jamming or spoofing radar and communications systems), and will feature an "open systems architecture" that will allow it to be upgraded with new capabilities in the future.
Doug Young, sector vice president and general manager at Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems, said in a company statement(opens in new tab) published on Sept. 20 that the B-21 "showcases the dedication and skills of the thousands of people working every day to deliver this aircraft" and is "a product of pioneering innovation and technological excellence.”
According to the same statement, there are six B-21 test aircraft in various stages of final assembly at the company's Palmdale plant. While the USAF plans for the Raider's first flight to take place in 2023, military officials have yet to announce firm target dates.
The B-21 Raider's unveiling ceremony on Dec. 2 will be an invitation-only event.
US-Luftwaffe stellt neuen Tarnkappenbomber B-21 vor
Der B-21 Raider ist der erste neue Tarnkappenbomber der USA in 30 Jahren. (Quelle: DAVID SWANSON)
Die USA haben ihren neuen Super-Bomber vorgestellt. Der B-21 kann sogar ohne Besatzung fliegen.
Die US-Luftwaffe hat ihren neuen Tarnkappenbomber B-21 Raider vorgestellt – das erste neue Bomber-Modell der Air Force seit Jahrzehnten. Das High-Tech-Flugzeug wurde am Freitag in einer aufwändigen Inszenierung auf dem Gelände des Rüstungskonzerns Northrop Grumman in Palmdale (Kalifornien) präsentiert.
Der B-21 ist dank neuester Technologie für gegnerische Radare noch schwieriger auszumachen als andere Tarnkappenbomber und kann theoretisch ohne Besatzung fliegen. Er kann sowohl atomar als auch konventionell bestückte Raketen abfeuern. Der Preis pro Flugzeug dürfte bei knapp 700 Millionen Dollar (rund 670 Millionen Euro) liegen, die US-Luftwaffe will mindestens hundert Maschinen kaufen. Der erste Flug ist für das kommende Jahr geplant.
Der B-21 soll in der Air Force schrittweise die bisherigen B-1- und B-2-Bomber ablösen, die aus der Zeit des Kalten Krieges stammen. "Der B-21 wird das Rückgrat unserer künftigen Bomber-Luftwaffe sein", erklärte Air-Force-Sprecherin Ann Stefanek. Das Flugzeug verfüge über die Fähigkeit, in die "umkämpftesten Risiko-Gebiete" der Welt einzudringen und in jedem Ziel weltweit für Gefahr zu sorgen.
Unveiled today, the B-21 Raider will be a dual-capable, penetrating-strike stealth bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions. The B-21 will form the backbone of the future Air Force bomber force consisting of B-21s and B-52s.(U.S. Air Force photo)
Der Name Raider ist eine Ehrung des sogenannten Doolittle Raid – das englische Wort raid bedeutet Angriff – im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Monate nach dem japanischen Überraschungsangriff auf den US-Stützpunkt Pearl Harbor im Dezember 1941 hatten US-Bomber unter Führung von Oberstleutnant James Doolittle in einem Gegenangriff Tokio attackiert. Es war der erste US-Angriff auf das japanische Festland und ein symbolisch wichtiger Erfolg für die US-Streitkräfte.
10 Facts About Northrop Grumman’s B-21 Raider
Northrop Grumman’s B-21 Raider was unveiled on Friday, Dec. 2 at the company’s site in Palmdale, California, marking the first time the world’s first sixth-generation aircraft was seen by the public. Delivered to the U.S. Air Force, the B-21 now joins the nation’s strategic triad as a visible and flexible deterrent, supporting national security objectives and assuring the nation’s allies and partners.
When it comes to delivering America’s resolve, the Raider provides the Air Force with long range, high survivability and mission payload flexibility. The B-21 will penetrate the toughest defenses for precision strikes anywhere in the world.
Here are 10 key facts about the Northrop Grumman’s B-21 Raider:
The B-21 Raider benefits from more than three decades of strike and stealth technology. It is the next evolution of the Air Force strategic bomber fleet. Developed with the next generation of stealth technology, advanced networking capabilities and an open systems architecture, the B-21 is optimized for the high-end threat environment. It will play a critical role in helping the Air Force meet its most complex missions.
Northrop Grumman is continuously advancing technology, employing new manufacturing techniques and materials to ensure the B-21 will defeat the anti-access, area-denial systems it will face.
3.Backbone of the Fleet.
The B-21 Raider forms the backbone of the future for U.S. air power. The B-21 will deliver a new era of capability and flexibility through advanced integration of data, sensors and weapons. Capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear payloads, the B-21 will be one of the most effective aircraft in the sky, with the ability to use a broad mix of stand-off and direct attack munitions.
4.A Digital Bomber.
The B-21 is a digital bomber. Northrop Grumman uses agile software development, advanced manufacturing techniques and digital engineering tools to help mitigate production risk on the B-21 program and enable modern sustainment practices. Six B-21 Raiders are in various stages of final assembly and test at Northrop Grumman’s plant in Palmdale, California.
Northrop Grumman and the Air Force successfully demonstrated the migration of B-21 ground systems data to a cloud environment. This demonstration included the development, deployment and test of B-21 data, including the B-21 digital twin, that will support B-21 operations and sustainment. This robust cloud-based digital infrastructure will result in a more maintainable and sustainable aircraft with lower-cost infrastructure.
To meet the evolving threat environment, the B-21 has been designed from day one for rapid upgradeability. Unlike earlier generation aircraft, the B-21 will not undergo block upgrades. New technology, capabilities and weapons will be seamlessly incorporated through agile software upgrades and built-in hardware flexibility. This will ensure the B-21 Raider can continuously meet the evolving threat head on for decades to come.
7.A National Team.
Since the contract award in 2015, Northrop Grumman has assembled a nationwide team to design, test and build the world’s most advanced strike aircraft. The B-21 team includes more than 8,000 people from Northrop Grumman, industry partners and the Air Force. The team consists of more than 400 suppliers across 40 states.
Long-term operations and sustainment affordability has been a B-21 program priority from the start. In partnership with the Air Force, our team has made maintainability an equally important requirement to stealth performance to ensure we’re driving more affordable, predictable operations and sustainment outcomes.
The B-21 Raider is pivotal to supporting our nation’s strategic deterrence strategy. In addition to its advanced long-range precision strike capabilities that will afford Combatant Commanders the ability to hold any target, anywhere in the world at risk, it has also been designed as the lead component of a larger family of systems that will deliver intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, electronic attack and multi-domain networking capabilities. In a dynamic global security environment, the B-21 will provide the flexibility and deterrence critical to the security of the U.S. and our allies.
The B-21 Raider is named in honor of the Doolittle Raid of World War II when 80 airmen, led by Lt. Col. James “Jimmy” Doolittle, and 16 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers set off on a mission that changed the course of World War II. The actions of these 80 volunteers were instrumental in shifting momentum in the Pacific theater. This marked the raid as a catalyst to a multitude of future progress in U.S. air superiority from land or sea. The courageous spirit of the Doolittle Raiders is the inspiration behind the name of the B-21 Raider.
Der B-21-Raider von Northrop Grumman wurde am Freitag, dem 2. Dezember, auf dem Standort des Unternehmens in Palmdale, Kalifornien, vorgestellt. Das erste Mal, dass das Flugzeug der ersten sechsten Generation der sechsten Generation von der Öffentlichkeit gesehen wurde. Der B-21, der an die US-Luftwaffe geliefert wurde, tritt nun als sichtbare und flexible Abschreckung der strategischen Triade der Nation an, unterstützt nationale Sicherheitsziele und versichert den Verbündeten und Partnern der Nation.
Wenn es darum geht, Amerikas Entschlossenheit zu liefern, bietet der Raider die Luftwaffe mit großer Reichweite, hoher Überlebensfähigkeit und Missionsnutzungsflexibilität. Der B-21 wird die härtesten Abwehrkräfte für Präzisionsschläge überall auf der Welt durchdringen.
Hier sind 10 wichtige Fakten über den B-21-Raider des Northrop Grumman: 1. Sechste Generation. Der B-21-Raider profitiert von mehr als drei Jahrzehnten Streik- und Stealth-Technologie. Es ist die nächste Entwicklung der strategischen Bomberflotte der Luftwaffe. Der B-21 wurde mit der nächsten Generation von Stealth-Technologie, fortschrittlichen Netzwerkfunktionen und einer Open Systems-Architektur entwickelt und ist für die High-End-Bedrohungsumgebung optimiert. Es wird eine entscheidende Rolle bei der Erfüllung der Luftwaffe spielen, die ihre komplexesten Missionen erfüllen.
2. Stealth. Northrop Grumman fördert die Technologie kontinuierlich und setzt neue Fertigungstechniken und -materialien ein, um sicherzustellen, dass der B-21 die Anti-Zugriffs- und Gebietssysteme besiegen wird, mit denen sie ausgesetzt sein wird.
3. Rückgrat der Flotte. Der B-21 Raider bildet das Rückgrat der Zukunft für US-Luftmacht. Der B-21 wird durch fortgeschrittene Integration von Daten, Sensoren und Waffen eine neue Ära der Fähigkeit und Flexibilität liefern. Der B-21 ist in der Lage, sowohl konventionelle als auch nukleare Nutzlasten zu liefern, und ist eines der effektivsten Flugzeuge am Himmel, mit der Fähigkeit, eine breite Mischung aus Abstands- und Direktangriffsmunition zu verwenden.
4. Ein digitaler Bomber. Der B-21 ist ein digitaler Bomber. Northrop Grumman verwendet agile Softwareentwicklung, fortschrittliche Fertigungstechniken und digitale Technik-Tools, um das Produktionsrisiko für das B-21-Programm zu verringern und moderne Nachhaltigkeitspraktiken zu ermöglichen. Sechs B-21-Raiders befinden sich in verschiedenen Stadien der Finalversammlung und in der Anlage von Northrop Grumman in Palmdale, Kalifornien, in Northrop Grumman.
5. Cloud -Technologie. Northrop Grumman und die Luftwaffe zeigten erfolgreich die Migration von B-21-Bodensystemdaten in eine Cloud-Umgebung. Diese Demonstration umfasste die Entwicklung, den Einsatz und den Test von B-21-Daten, einschließlich des digitalen B-21-Twin, die B-21-Operationen und -Anhaltastrate unterstützen. Diese robuste digitale Infrastruktur auf Cloud-basierter digitaler Infrastruktur wird zu einem wartbaren und nachhaltigeren Flugzeug mit kostengünstigerer Infrastruktur führen.
6. Offene Architektur. Um das sich entwickelnde Bedrohungsumfeld zu befriedigen, wurde der B-21 vom ersten Tag an eine schnelle Aufrüstung entworfen. Im Gegensatz zu Flugzeugen der früheren Generation wird der B-21 keine Block-Upgrades unterzogen. Neue Technologie, Funktionen und Waffen werden nahtlos durch agile Software-Upgrades und integrierte Hardwareflexibilität einbezogen. Dadurch wird sichergestellt, dass der B-21-Raider in den kommenden Jahrzehnten den sich entwickelnden Bedrohungskopf kontinuierlich begegnen kann.
7. Eine Nationalmannschaft. Seit dem Auftragspreis im Jahr 2015 hat Northrop Grumman ein landesweites Team zusammengestellt, um das fortschrittlichste Streikflugzeug der Welt zu entwerfen, zu testen und aufzubauen. Das B-21-Team umfasst mehr als 8.000 Menschen aus Northrop Grumman, Industriepartnern und der Luftwaffe. Das Team besteht aus mehr als 400 Lieferanten in 40 Bundesstaaten.
8. Nachhaltigkeit. Langfristige Operationen und Erschwinglichkeit für die Erschwinglichkeit von Nachhalten waren von Anfang an eine B-21-Programmpriorität. In Zusammenarbeit mit der Luftwaffe hat unser Team die Wartbarkeit zu einer ebenso wichtigen Voraussetzung für die Stealth -Leistung gemacht, um sicherzustellen, dass wir günstigere, vorhersehbare Operationen und Nachhalteergebnisse fördern.
9. Globale Reichweite. Der B-21-Raider ist entscheidend für die Unterstützung der strategischen Abschreckungsstrategie unserer Nation. Zusätzlich zu den fortgeschrittenen Langstrecken-Präzisions-Streikfunktionen, die den Kombattantenkommandanten die Möglichkeit ermöglichen, ein Ziel auf der ganzen Welt zu halten, wurde es auch als Hauptkomponente einer größeren Systemfamilie ausgelegt, die Intelligenz liefern. Überwachung und Aufklärung, elektronische Angriff und Multi-Domänen-Netzwerkfunktionen. In einem dynamischen globalen Sicherheitsumfeld bietet der B-21 die Flexibilität und Abschreckung, die für die Sicherheit der USA und unserer Verbündeten von entscheidender Bedeutung ist.
10. Raider. Der B-21-Raider wurde zu Ehren des Doolittle-Überfalls des Zweiten Weltkriegs benannt, als 80 Flieger, angeführt von Oberstleutnant James „Jimmy“ Doolittle, und 16 B-25 Mitchell Medium Bombers auf eine Mission ausgelöst wurden, die den Kurs veränderte des Zweiten Weltkriegs. Die Aktionen dieser 80 Freiwilligen waren maßgeblich daran beteiligt, die Dynamik im Pacific Theatre zu wechseln. Dies markierte den Überfall als Katalysator für eine Vielzahl von zukünftigen Fortschritten bei der Überlegenheit der US -Luft von Land oder Meer. Der mutige Geist der Doolittle-Raiders ist die Inspiration hinter dem Namen des Raiders von TheB-21.
Quelle: Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider Delivers Data Sharing and Cloud Firsts
Northrop Grumman, U.S. Air Force enter into industry-first data rights agreement and prove operations and sustainment data migration to the cloud
Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force signed an industry-first data rights agreement recently, opening B-21 data access and collaboration across the program, including the launch of a shared environment for the B-21 digital twin.
The agreement establishes a level of access to common data and data environments that had not yet been accomplished on a program of this scale or this early in the lifecycle. It creates greater transparency and collaboration between Northrop Grumman and the Air Force, helping to deliver greater affordability and rapid upgradability throughout the program lifecycle. Northrop Grumman has placed a high priority on driving digital engineering further into the B-21 enterprise.
Also earlier this year, Northrop Grumman and the Air Force successfully demonstrated the migration of B-21 ground systems data to a cloud environment. This demonstration included the development, deployment and test of a suite of B-21 data, including the B-21 digital twin, that will support B-21 operations and sustainment. This successful test proved the ground systems footprint can be significantly reduced at main operating bases and in deployment packages. This approach will drive affordability and readiness advantages in operations and sustainment.
The B-21 program’s achievements in data access and data management are best practices Northrop Grumman is using to benefit other programs across the company.
“The B-21 Raider is a true digital native, and this data rights agreement coupled with the cloud based digital twin allow us to drive down risk in the EMD phase, will enable rapid capability upgrades and lowers sustainment cost over the life of the program,” said Doug Young, sector vice president and general manager, Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems.
As the B-21 continues its ground test phase, the team will power up the aircraft, test its subsystems, and apply coatings and paint. The next steps will include carrying out engine runs as well as low-speed and high-speed taxi tests, and then on to first flight.
Northrop Grumman has invested in a robust production program — one that is foundational to the National Defense Strategy — to deliver the B-21 at a rate that will have a real effect for the Air Force in meeting evolving threats. Innovative application of digital engineering and commercial off-the-shelf digital tools continue to deliver an advanced degree of precision and efficiency in the build process, with production risk reduction progressing every day as B-21 test aircraft move down the actual production line.
On September 20, 2022, Northrop Grumman announced it will unveil the B-21 Raider during the first week of December at the company’s Palmdale, California facility, in partnership with the Air Force. The first flight projection of 2023, as has been reported by the Air Force, is aligned with the information communicated during the company's 2022 earnings calls and remains on-schedule to the government Acquisition Program Baseline.
As the Air Force has indicated, the focus is on a safe first flight of a production representative aircraft. With six aircraft in various stages of production and test, Northrop Grumman is progressing toward that objective as it continues to reduce risk, refine the building process, and mature the test fleet ahead of first flight.