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The first B-21 Raider, Northrop Grumman’s heavy bomber under development for the United States Air Force (USAF) and scheduled to enter service in 2025, has undergone completion of production. As of now, it has begun ground testing, and is scheduled to fly later this year.
Tests conducted on the ground are intended to verify that new aircraft are operating correctly. During this process, mechanical components are verified to be correct, and electromagnetic systems are tested for normal operation. When it comes to the B-12 Raider, software testing is also an important part of the ground testing phase.
Like its predecessor, the B-2 Spirit, the current Raider’s wings are inspired by the bat, an unusual form of aircraft wing, and it utilizes Fly-By-Wire technology, which makes the aircraft stay in the air while using computers to communicate during flight. In addition, tests of software are essential to make sure the B-12 is able to carry out both complex and basic operations together in flight, and also to make sure that it is suitable for both conventional attack and nuclear weapons delivery missions.
There are six B-21s in various stages of production for the U.S. Air Force at the moment. According to popularmechanics.com, the first B-12 will be revealed during the current year.