The heavy bomber, capable of delivering nuclear charges to its target, took off from Palmdale, California, where developer Northrop Grumman is conducting its tests.
Spokeswoman Anne Stefanik said of the test flights that they are a critical step in achieving “a long-range, penetrable strike force that serves as a deterrent against planned aggression and strategic attacks against the United States and its allies and partners.” “
MTI stated that the AB-21 Raider, like its predecessor the B-2 Spirit, has a V-shaped design integrated with the fuselage, and at the same time, it is made of improved materials that improve resistance and is equipped with more advanced technology.
According to plans, 100 units of the new heavy bomber will be produced, in several versions. There will be experimental, ground-controlled and unmanned versions.
The AB-21 Raider will be the first newly developed fighter aircraft for the US Air Force in more than 30 years.
Almost all elements of the program are strictly classified, and are primarily intended to prevent China from learning about the aircraft’s weapons technology and being able to produce a similar model, as happened in the case of the F-35.
The new aircraft, like the B-2 Spirit, will be manufactured by Virginia-based Northrop Grumman.
The first flight of its predecessor, the B-2 Spirit, was in 1989, and its first deployment was in 1999 to Kosovo. About 135 models were planned to be produced, but in the end only 21 were completed, partly due to the changing geopolitical environment of the early 1990s, and partly due to the very high cost of production.