Remote controllable and practically invisible to enemy radar: the B-21 Raider stealth bomber is intended to gradually replace the US models from the Cold War. Technical details are rare, but the Air Force is looking forward to the 700 million euro plane.

The US Air Force has unveiled its new B-21 Raider stealth bomber – the Air Force’s first new bomber model in decades. The high-tech aircraft was presented in a lavish staging on the premises of the armaments company Northrop Grumman in Palmdale, California.

Thanks to the latest technology, the B-21 is even more difficult to detect than other stealth bombers by enemy radar and can theoretically fly unmanned. It can fire both nuclear and conventional missiles. The price per aircraft is likely to be just under 700 million dollars (around 670 million euros). The US Air Force wants to buy at least a hundred machines. The first flight is planned for next year.

The B-21 is intended to gradually replace the previous B-1 and B-2 bombers in the Air Force, which date back to the Cold War era. “The B-21 will be the backbone of our future bomber force,” said Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek. The aircraft has the ability to enter the world’s “most competitive risk areas” and threaten any destination worldwide.

The name Raider is a tribute to the so-called Doolittle Raid – the English word raid means attack – in World War II. Months after the Japanese surprise attack on the US base at Pearl Harbor in December 1941, US bombers led by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle counterattacked Tokyo. It was the first US attack on mainland Japan and a symbolically important success for US forces.