USA’s $550m B-21 NUKE bomber that can ‘hide from Russian and Chinese missiles’ is nearly ready
THE US Air Force’s first new bomber in more than 30 years is nearly ready for its first flight.
The top-secret B-21 stealth plane is designed to fire missiles and nukes at targets deep into enemy territory that normal aircraft can’t reach.
Set for its first flight in 2022, the $550million (£440million) jet flies at a reported minimum altitude of 60,000ft (18,000 metres) to avoid detection.
Experts say the bomber will be invisible to Chinese and Russian radar systems. It’s slated for active duty in 2025, according to techeblog.
“This aircraft is part of the Long Range Strike Bomber program (LRS-B),” the site wrote in a report on Wednesday.
“It’s designed to be an advanced very long-range, large, heavy-payload stealth intercontinental strategic bomber capable of delivering conventional and thermonuclear weapons.”
The US Air Force and aerospace firm Northrop Grumman released its first photos of the B21 in nearly four years back in February[/caption]
The B-21 is the followup to the angular B-2 stealth bomber flown by the Air Force since 1989.
While the B-2 is still in service, stealth technology has come a long way in the three decades since its first flight.
Working with aerospace firm Northrop Grumman, the US Air Force has devised a followup that will allow it to hit any target, from anywhere.
Among the high-tech additions is the capability to fly the plane remotely.
The B-21 is the followup to the angular B-2 stealth bomber (left and right) flown by the Air Force since 1989[/caption]
Apparently, the B-21 can also fly itself, using advanced artificial intelligence to pick out targets and avoiding detection with no human input.
It won’t be completely autonomous, however: A person will always make the final call on whether or not to hit a suggested target.
Very little is known about the B-21 aside from a handful of photos and artist impressions released by Northrop Grumman.
Apparently. even frustrated congressmen have been denied information about the plane’s costs and abilities.
Like the B-2 (pictured), the B-21 stealth bomber is capable of hitting targets from extremely high altitudes[/caption]
Construction of the first unit reportedly began in Summer 2019, and an official image of a B-21 in a hangar shared this year seems to confirm this.
The plane uses Northrop Grumman specialised “flying wing” design, which merges the fuselage and wing.
Couples with the lack of horizontal and vertical stabilisers, this is thought to give the craft the best possible protection against enemy radar.
The US Air Force plans to buy at least 100 B-21 Raiders for $550 million each, according to 2012 Pentagon documents released as part of a Freedom of Information request.
Terrifying space weapons of the future
Here are three of the scariest…
Rods from God
- A strange but utterly terrifying weapon has been dubbed “rods from the God” and is based on the concept of creating man-made meteorites that can be guided towards the enemy.
- Instead of using rocks rods the size of telephone poles are deployed.
- These would be made out of tungsten — a rare metal that can stand the intense heat generated by entering Earth’s atmosphere.
- One satellite fires the rods towards the Earth’s atmosphere while the other steers them to a target on the ground.
- Reaching speeds of 7000mph they hit the ground with the force of a small nuclear weapon — but crucially creating no radiation fall out.
- As bizarre as it sounds, a US Congressional report recently revealed the military has been pushing ahead with the kinetic space weapons.
Molten metal cannons
- This intriguing idea is being developed by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
- It is called the Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition or MAHEM.
- This game changing rail-gun can fire a jet of molten metal, hurled through space at several hundred miles per second by the most powerful electromagnets ever built.
- The molten metal can then morph into an aerodynamic slug during flight and pierce through another spacecraft or satellite and a munition explodes inside.
Space force ships
- Already the United States is powering head with its spacecraft, although China is busy developing one of their own.
- The top secret American XS-1 under development by DARPA.
- It can travel ten times the speed of sound and launch missiles.
- Meanwhile an unmanned craft is currently being developed in the China Aerodynamics Research and Development Centre in Mianyang, Sichuan province, which is also known as Base 29.
The aircraft is currently under construction at a Northrop Grumman base in Palmdale, California.
As well as firing conventional and nuclear missiles, the plane is capable of carrying out reconnaissance work.
Apparently, it can autonomously work as a flying data centre to share information it collects with other US jets and military bases on the fly.
The B-21’s first flight was original scheduled for late 2021, but this is thought to have been pushed back to 2022.
Most read in Science
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the US Navy Seals and Royal Marines are looking to kit out their special forces with 50mph Iron Man-style jet packs.
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