USAF Confirm Plans For 100 B-21s While Already Looking To The Future | Aviation

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The B-21 Raider is a high-tech nuclear-capable stealth bomber designed with future modernization in mind to ensure the aircraft and technology are able to evolve throughout time and threat changes. (Photo: Travis Burcham via Airman Magazine)

The service expects something better to be available to augment the Raider fleet by the time all 100 bombers are built.

In a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on April 16, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin said might not acquire more than the currently planned 100 B-21 Raider 6th generation stealth bombers as something new with more effective technology might come up by the time the 100 bombers are built and delivered.

“100 is the program of record. I think we’re not going to reach that number until probably the mid-2030s and beyond,” said Gen. Allvin when questioned about the minimum number of B-21s. “Before we commit to that as being the platform and beyond that, I think there are other technological advancements that we would see to be able to augment that and have a better mix”.

This is also in line with a statement from Lt. Gen. Richard G. Moore Jr., Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs, earlier this year. The General, in fact, did not exclude a change of the number of bombers, adding that the service is thinking about it, but the decision to go past 100 doesn’t need to be made now and wouldn’t happen until the mid to late ’30s.

One of the reasons for the production not being completed before the 2030s is the deliberate low production rate that was set to make the B-21 program more survivable to budget cuts, avoiding situations similar to the F-35 production which could not reach the desired rate and whose price rocketed up. “A lot of the painful lessons of the F-35 were applied to the B-21,” said Pentagon acquisition and sustainment chief William LaPlante.

The B-21 during its first flight (photo by @point_mugu_skies edited by The…

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