Here’s all we know (so far) about America’s newest stealth bomber

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Artist rendering shows the first image of a new Northrop Grumman Corp long-range bomber.
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Thomson Reuters

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Little is known about America’s newest stealth bomber, the B-21, which will replace the Air Force’s aging B-52 and B-1Bs.

Shrouded in secrecy, here’s all we know (so far) about the B-21:

    It will be developed by Northrop Grumman, the same manufacturer of the iconic B-2 Spirit Northrop Grumman won the contract in October The Air Force is slated to buy 100 of these new bombers The program is estimated to cost $80 billion The Air Force estimates it will pay $511 million per aircraft (in 2010 dollars) The new bomber is not expected to enter combat before 2025 The “21” in B-21 means it’s the bomber of the 21st century There are no existing prototypes of the bomber aircraft; however, based on the artist rendering, the B-21 shares some resemblance to the B-2 Spirit The final design of the B-21 remains unknown US Air Force Secretary Deborah James hosted a naming contest for the 21st century bomber and received more than 4,600 entries James and Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein chose the name and it was revealed during the annual Air Force Association’s (AFA) conference The name chosen for the bomber is Raider after famed World War II air commander Gen. James Doolittle’s group During the AFA conference, the Air Force recognized that the KC-46A Pegasus tanker, F-35A Lightning II jet, and the B-21 Raider bomber as top priorities to receive funding