On November 10th, America Held Its First Flight-Test Of What Will Be Its Mainstay WW III Bomber

The replacement for the Rockwell B-1 Lancer, Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, and possibly (by 2040) the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, will be the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider, which had its first flight-test (shown here) on November 10th. It was successful. Defense One called the event “momentous” and “a milestone for the Pentagon’s first new bomber in a quarter-century.”

This is an extremely stealthy plane that is designed to carry the B61-13 nuclear bomb, which will have a 360 kiloton yield, equivalent to 17 Nagasaki bombs, or to 24 Hiroshima bombs.

The stealth feature will be essential if the United States is to carry out by means of a bomber, instead of by a missile, a blitz-nuking of The Kremlin, in the hope of destroying Russia’s central command so that Russia’s central command won’t still be around to initiate a response. (That surprise attack would be possible only if the plane takes off from a location that’s very near The Kremlin, such as, say, from Ukraine, which is only 317 miles away — which is why Ukraine is uniquely valuable for the U.S. Government.)

B-21 Raider
Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider

Since the fastest missiles are far faster than the fastest planes, there is little (if any) realistic prospect of a bomber being used for such a function (what the Americans call “Nuclear Primacy” or the usage of nuclear weapons to ‘win’ a nuclear war instead of to — as the former “Mutually Assured Destruction” meta-strategy was, which Russia still adheres to — their being used solely in order to prevent a nuclear war); and, therefore, the reason why this super-stealthy bomber will be built isn’t yet clear to the public. Consequently, among the features of the B-21 Raider program that the U.S. Government keeps “classified” or secret from Congress and from the public, are the per-plane cost. As Wikipedia says, “The Congressional Research Service noted in 2021 that the B-21’s technical details and specifications, such as speed, enabling systems, ‘size, required stealth, structure, number and type of engines, projected weapons, and onboard sensors remain classified’, although some information about various other aspects of the program have been made public.” Many U.S. ‘news’-media allege that the per-plane cost will be $700 million, but TIME magazine has been more honest, and reported that:

the bomber’s projected $692 million per plane price tag is below the planned costs that the Pentagon announced a decade ago. But the unclassified numbers — published under the Air Force’s procurement and “Research, Development, Test and Evaluation” budget lines — don’t tell the whole story. Huge swathes of the program remain classified and if it garners so-called “black budget” funding, the public won’t know. According to the Pentagon’s 2023 request, the Air Force plans to spend nearly $20 billion on producing the B-21 for the next five years, but it’s not clear how many planes that will buy. Production timelines and rates are classified.

Whatever the cost will turn out to have been, this plane has clearly been a darling of Obama, who started it, then of Trump, who continued, it, and, now, is, apparently, essential to Biden, but for what actual reasons aren’t, and haven’t been, entirely clear. If this weapon actually were a defensive weapon — a second-strike weapon instead of a first-strike one — as the U.S. Government constantly claims it is, then what would it be able to do that missiles (which can be at least as stealthy and are far faster) can’t do better and far cheaper? And even as a blitz-first-strike weapon, it can’t be as fast as the missiles that would do the same job better and cheaper.

Of course, if its purpose is to serve the investors in America’s war-weapons-producing firms, then the reason for this weapon is understandable. Furthermore, as Northrop Grumman says, “The B-21 team includes more than 8,000 people from Northrop Grumman, industry partners and the Air Force. The team consists of more than 400 suppliers across 40 states.” So, the members of Congress from at least those 40 states will probably find that it’s a popular program in their state or district, regardless of any contribution that the plane might (or might not) make to the nation’s actual ‘defense’.

Reposts are welcomed with the reference to ORIENTAL REVIEW.
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