Are you thinking about joining the U.S. Air Force? If so, you’re in good company. According to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Defense and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently 261,945 active-duty enlisted personnel in that military branch.
If you’re considering enlisting, you should also keep up with the latest news, including the newest aircraft. Right now, that’s the Air Force B-21 stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider.
Here’s what you need to know about this new U.S. military technology, including the stealth bomber’s features and more.
What Is a Stealth Bomber?
The U.S. B-2 bomber, or the stealth bomber, was one of the most advanced aircraft of its time. It was originally created to replace the B-52 bomber.
The goal was to create a plane that could quickly deliver nuclear bombs while remaining almost invisible to the enemy. The B-2 bomber has a very different design, almost like a boomerang. The unique design reduces drag and makes the plane more efficient.
That shape also helps it to “vanish” into the sky, making it less visible. The aerodynamic design also ensures the plane is as quiet as possible to avoid detection.
The Newest Air Force B-21 Stealth Bomber
The United States has currently built 21 stealth bombers. One was destroyed in 2008, so there are 20 in service. The previous stealth bomber model was the well-known Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit.
While some consider the B-21 simply a newer version of the B-2, there are some notable differences and improvements.
The newest stealth bomber is called the B-21 Raider. The recently revealed images showed a similar wing design to other B-2 bombers but with some impressive upgrades.
For instance, the B-21 Raider has recessed air intakes for improved stealth capability. Although the exact range is a secret, it’s likely this new stealth bomber can easily carry out long-range missions without the need for frequent in-flight refueling.
The B-21 should take flight sometime in 2024, capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional munitions.
Stealth bombers are one of the most powerful Air Force weapons, and the B-21 Raider is no exception. Expect the B-21 to have multiple upgrades and capabilities that past models lacked. It’s also capable of operating without a human crew!
Of course, none of this comes cheaply. Although production timelines and costs are currently classified, the Air Force plans on spending nearly $20 billion on production over the next few years.
Interested in Joining the Air Force?
The latest Air Force B-21 stealth bomber is certainly impressive, even if we currently only know a fraction of what it’s capable of doing. It’s a significant upgrade from the B-2.
There are still plenty of stealth bombers in operation, and the future for these aircraft looks bright. The B-21 Raider could be a turning point in aviation history.
Are you interested in aircraft and thinking about joining the United States Air Force? It’s easy to learn more from your local military recruiter. Find the nearest Air Force recruiter near you to get started.