B-21 Raider Flies Test Sortie from Edwards Air Force Base Written 19 January 2024


An artist's rendering of a B-21 Raider. | Credit: U.S. Air Force graphic; USAF; Public Domain

Aviation Week reports that a “Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider flew a test sortie from Edwards AFB, California, on Jan. 17, notching the second acknowledged flight of the second-generation stealth bomber.” Defense News reports US Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said, “Flight testing is a critical step in the test campaign managed by the Air Force Test Center and 412th Test Wing’s B-21 combined test force to provide survivable, long-range, penetrating strike capabilities to deter aggression and strategic attacks against the United States, allies and partners.” According to Defense News, “Northrop Grumman has built or is in the process of building at least six test B-21s, including this first bomber. The B-21 program is now in the engineering and manufacturing development phase, and the test aircraft are production-representative platforms, meaning they are being built on the same line with the same tools, technicians and processes as production bombers. Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota is to be the first base to receive a Raider, scheduled for delivery in the mid-2020s.”
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