Here's all we know (so far) about America's newest stealth bomber

An artist rendering shows the first image of a new Northrop Grumman Corp long-range bomber B21 in this image released on February 26, 2016. REUTERS/U.S. Air Force/Handout/Files via Reuters

Thomson Reuters

Artist rendering shows the first image of a new Northrop Grumman Corp long-range bomber.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Little is known about America's newest stealth bomber, the B-21, which will replace the Air Force's aging bomber fleet.

Shrouded in secrecy, here's all we know (so far) about the B-21:

  • It will be manufactured by Northrop Grumman, the same manufacturer of the iconic B-2 Spirit
  • Northrop Grumman won the contract in October
  • The Air Force is slated to buy 100 of these new bombers
  • The program is estimated to cost $80 billion
  • The Air Force estimates it will pay $511 million per aircraft (in 2010 dollars)
  • The new bomber is not expected to enter combat before 2025
  • The "21" in B-21 means it's the bomber of the 21st century
  • There are no existing prototypes of the bomber aircraft; however, based on the artist rendering, the B-21 shares some resemblance to the B-2 Spirit
  • The final design of the B-21 remains unknown
  • US Air Force Secretary Deborah James hosted a naming contest for the 21st century bomber and recieved more than 4,600 entries
  • James and Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein chose the name and it was revealed during the annual Air Force Association's (AFA) conference
  • The name chosen for the bomer is Raider after famed World War II air commander Gen. James Doolittle's group
  • During the AFA conference, the Air Force recognized that the KC-46A Pegasus tanker, F-35A Lightning II jet, and the B-21 Raider bomber as top priorities to recieve funding

NOW WATCH: America's B-2 stealth bomber is unlike any military aircraft in the world

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