US Air Force Unveils New B-21 Raider Stealth Bomber

    US Air Force Unveils New B-21 Raider Stealth Bomber
    Photo: United States Air Force [via Fox News]

    The Facts

    • The US Air Force is expected to unveil its new B-21 Raider stealth bomber on Friday. Designed to conduct long-range and nuclear bomb missions, it's described as a sixth-generation plane, meaning it's the most advanced aircraft on Earth.

    • Northrop Grumman Corp. was awarded the contract to build the plane in 2015. While the exact cost to develop, purchase, and operate the bombers is unclear, 2010 data put the price at $550M each — around $753M today. The Air Force reportedly plans to build 100.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The accomplishments of this program are two-fold, as the US faces growing scrutiny over both its budget and security. The B-21 was developed in a timely fashion and within budget, overcoming past failures to do so. Its stealth and long-range capabilities are also needed today as the US faces both hypersonic technologies and advanced mobile and deeply buried targets from its adversaries.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    This unveiling proves that the imbalance between military and non-military spending is alive and well. After decades of unnecessary wars, the Pentagon is now using the Cold War 2.0 trope to trick the nation into spending billions of dollars to fight its new enemies, Russia and China — a policy that completely disregards other major challenges. If the nation continues to hand over a blank check, there will be no signs of peace or military downsizing in sight.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 19% chance that there will be a US-China war by 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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