B-2 Spirit In Flight

Supporting Voices

"The B-21 continues to make measured, positive progress and remains on track to deliver its initial capability in the mid-2020s. The Air Force remains committed to a fleet size of a minimum of 100 B-21s. This fleet will provide capabilities necessary to meet future Combatant Commander requirements. The B-21 remains an absolute national defense priority."

—Lt. Gen. Arnold W. Bunch, Jr., Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition
April 18, 2018

"I am confident that the B-21 program remains on track for production and delivery. As the chairman of the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, I view it as my duty to authorize the necessary funds for the B-21 program and deliver this critical capability as soon as possible."

—Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA)
March 2, 2018

"The B-21 Raider is our future deterrent stealth bomber. This program stands at the forefront of the nation’s defense modernization efforts and will eventually build on the B-2’s legacy as the world’s most advanced long-range strike bomber: one of our adversaries’ most feared weapon systems."

—Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
Feb. 12, 2018

"At this stage of the journey — and it is still in its infancy stage — I am thrilled. I believe ... we have the opportunity with the B-21 to be a benchmark acquisition program with us and Northrop. And I say that because we have been partners for the last 30 years on stealth, low observable [technologies], so we already have a track record. And we have the benefit to draw the lessons learned on what went well and didn’t go so well with the B-2 and apply those to this. We also have the benefit of learning from the F-22 and the F-35. And I think there is really a neat opportunity that we can be on time and on cost and deliver this incredibly lethal platform that we are going to need to get us well into the 21st century."

—Gen. Robin Rand, Commander, U.S. Global Strike Command
November 14, 2017

"The central idea of the B-21 approach is that it is going to leverage decades experience from a variety of aircraft developmental programs. That is why we say it is using rather mature technologies, but they will be put together in a new and creative way."

—Deborah Lee James, Former Secretary of the Air Force
Aug. 8, 2017

"I am particularly pleased with the progress the Air Force has made on the B-21 Raider program. While it remains early in the design process, I believe that Northrop Grumman has made the B-21 program a priority and is delivering to the anticipated cost and schedule of the program."

—Rep. Robert Wittman (R-VA)
June 21, 2017

"Technology gaps between the U.S. and potential adversaries are closing. The B-21 will support the nuclear Triad by providing an advanced and flexible deterrent capability, with the ability to penetrate modern and future air defenses."

—Gen. Robin Rand, Commander, U.S. Global Strike Command
June 7, 2017

"The B-21 will provide flexibility across a wide range of joint military operations using long range, large mixed payloads, and survivability. Agile acquisition processes have been built into the B-21 development and procurement efforts, ensuring we deliver system capabilities for the best value, while integrating open architecture for ease of upgrade to future technology requirements."

—Gen. Stephen Wilson, Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force
June 7, 2017

"We are rapidly developing the B-21 Raider long-range strike bomber. The B-21 will form the backbone of our future bomber force, ensuring the ability of our nation’s leaders to hold targets at risk around the world with both conventional and nuclear weapons."

—General David L. Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force
June 6, 2017

"The Air Force's B-21 Raider will be the world's most advanced long-range strike bomber when it fields in the mid-2020s. It also offers noteworthy cost-effective advantages over older fighter aircraft and bomber aircraft. It carries larger payloads, it requires fewer aircraft, and puts fewer men and women in harm's way to accomplish the mission. B-21 is an operational imperative, and we must ensure it remains an affordable program in order to augment and eventually replace our legacy bomber fleet. [W]e must ensure our military is never in a fair fight, and the B- 21 will do that by enabling our military leaders to strike anywhere at any time."

—Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA)
March 9, 2017

"This next generation bomber will replace a sorely aging fleet that has provided us with long-range strike capabilities for generations. With an ability to strike anywhere in the world, it is the most versatile leg of the nuclear triad, and also provides a tested and proven conventional strike capability. Moving forward, especially at this stage of the acquisition program, it will be important to ensure adequate funding in order to avoid unnecessary and costly delays."

—Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU)
March 9, 2017

"Technology gaps between the US and potential adversaries are closing. The B-21 will support the nuclear Triad by providing an advanced and flexible deterrent capability, with the ability to penetrate modern and future air defenses. Further, the B-21 will provide flexibility across a wide range of joint military operations using long range, large mixed payloads, and survivability. Agile acquisition processes have been built into the B-21 development and procurement efforts, ensuring we deliver system capabilities for the best value, while integrating open architecture for ease of upgrade to future technology requirements."

—Gen. Stephen Wilson, Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force
March 8, 2017

"As adversaries deploy increasingly sophisticated, integrated air defense systems, I fully support development and fielding of the dual-capable B-21 bomber. With its long range and enhanced penetration capabilities, the B-21 will directly support U.S. policy, strategy goals, and multiple combatant commander requirements by maintaining U.S. effectiveness in increasingly challenging anti-access/area denial environments."

—Gen. John Hyten, Commander, U.S. Strategic Command
March 8, 2017

"The (old bombers) are good airplanes, but they’re not capable of penetrating the defenses that we need now. Technology has increased and improved…There are anti-aircraft systems that are far more powerful than they were just a few years ago. This aircraft [LRS-B] is going to be essential in countering that. For our own security, we really need this."

—U.S. Congressman Chris Stewart, R-Utah
Jan. 28, 2016

"When I announced the award for the new Long-Range Strike Bomber, I made note that the bomber would employ a modular, open mission systems architecture—meaning we can change out different elements of the aircraft’s mission systems as the threat, technology or business cases evolve. Our Open Systems Acquisitions, or OSA, activity supports this effort."

—Deborah Lee James, Former Secretary of the Air Force
Jan. 13, 2016

"The Air Force made the right choice, the smart choice, the best-value choice for the taxpayer. And I can assure you that we are there to defend this choice — no matter what kind of protest."

—Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.
Dec. 21, 2015

"Northrop didn’t need a lot of teammates. They have a lot of capacity to do this thing in-house, way more so than Boeing or Lockheed did. It’s an interesting commentary on the state of the industry that Northrop can deliver a sort of full up, end-to-end solution — a bomber with a radar and electronic systems and apertures," Hunter said. "The other two had to bring a partner in."

—Andrew Hunter, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Nov. 17, 2015

"The value of the system in terms of revitalizing our ability to reach anywhere in the world in a set of hours to conduct a variety of tasks across the spectrum of conflict — and the capability that this system brings to the nation — is absolutely incredible. That is the positive of this. Value is measured not in cost per individual unit, but what effects it can create."

—Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, U.S. Air Force (retired)
Nov. 17, 2015

"LRS-B will possess the global force projection capabilities to conduct a show of force anywhere in the world, demonstrate national commitment to our allies even when based in the continental U.S. and provide lethal effects against dynamic targets."

—Lt. Gen. Robert Elder, U.S. Air Force (retired)
Nov. 13, 2015

"Only the B-2 stealth bomber maintained and modernized in my district can penetrate advanced air defenses. However, we only have 20 B-2s. Given NGC's 35 years designing, building, delivering and modernizing the stealth bomber at Plant 42, I know the men and women who work there, they are incredibly qualified to build our nation's next long-range strike aircraft."

—U.S. Congressman Steve Knight, R-Calif.
Nov. 3, 2015

"Our nation’s security depends on our ability to strike targets anywhere around the world at any time. It is critical that we get to work on a new bomber to ensure the U.S. can defeat the advanced air defense systems our adversaries are developing. I look forward to working with the Air Force to ensure this bomber can meet the threats we face and provide the best possible value to the taxpayer."

—U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.
Oct. 29, 2015

"The capabilities of the LRS-B will ensure the United States is able to hold any target on the globe at risk, while providing our combatant commanders critical operational flexibility across the full range of military operations. Its range, survivability and payload flexibility will ensure that we can execute our global power mission and provide our joint force commanders a critical asset to employ against the advanced air defenses of our adversaries, while also assuring our allies and partners of our commitment to nuclear deterrence."

—Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, 22nd Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force (retired)
Oct. 27, 2015

"The aging of our bomber fleet and the increasingly complex threat environment we face requires new thinking and new capabilities, both to preserve our strategic deterrent and to extend our ability to reach any target around the world. The long-range strike bomber will support America's defense strategy by forming the backbone of the Air Force's future strike and deterrent capabilities."

—Ash, Carter, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense
Oct. 27, 2015

The views expressed here are the opinions of third parties.