B-21 unveiling set for Dec. 2 in California

By Shelley K. Mesch / October 20, 2022 at 10:47 AM

The B-21 Raider will be unveiled Dec. 2 in Palmdale, CA, in an invitation-only event, contractor Northrop Grumman announced via Twitter Thursday.

The B-21 will be the Air Force’s newest nuclear bomber, and Northrop calls it the “world’s first sixth-generation aircraft.”

The Air Force announced last month at the Air and Space Forces Association’s Air, Space and Cyber conference that it would unveil the highly classified aircraft in December, but a specific date had not yet been finalized.

Northrop won the contract for the bomber in 2015. Six test aircraft were in final assembly in September at the Palmdale facility, according to a news release from the company last month.

The Air Force confirmed Thursday that six aircraft are in production, and the first flight is projected for next calendar year. The flight will be event, not calendar driven.

“The B-21 program is in the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase and is on-track to deliver aircraft to the first main operating base in the mid-2020s,” service spokesman Maj. Josh Benedetti said in an email to Inside Defense.