Air Force Plans to Unveil New B-21 Bomber

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PALMDALE (CNS) - The B-21 Raider, the first new American bomber aircraft in more than 30 years, will be unveiled Friday at Edwards Air Force Base Plant 42 in Palmdale, according to a release from Northrop-Grumman. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE EVENT LIVE AT 5 p.m. PT.

After years of secret development, the nuclear stealth bomber is making its public debut as part of the Pentagon's response to rising concerns over military build-up in China.

Only artists' renderings of the bomber have been released, and reveal the Raider resembles the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.

China is reported to have 1,500 nuclear weapons by 2035. In addition, China has made gains in hypersonics, cyber warfare, space capabilities, and other areas present "the most consequential and systemic challenge to U.S. national security and the free and open international system," the Pentagon said this week in its annual China report.

Northrop Grumman, based in Falls Church, Virginia, said it is using "new manufacturing techniques and materials to ensure the B-21 will defeat the anti-access, area-denial systems it will face," according to a fact sheet.

Six B-21 Raiders are in production, and the Air Force plans to build 100 that can deploy either nuclear weapons or conventional bombs. They can be used with or without a human crew.

The bomber is scheduled to be unveiled at 5 p.m. Friday.

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