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New B-21 bomber named 'Raider' - US Air Force

Northrop's B-21 Bomber Named 'Raider' After WWII Plane The Name Of The USAF's New B-21 Stealth Bomber Is...
Rufina Vignone | 19 Settembre, 2016, 20:31

The name of America's future stealth bomber, the B-21 "Raider", honors the legacy of World War II's Doolittle Raid, one of the most innovative strategic missions in Air Force history, service Secretary Deborah Lee James announced Monday.

The Air Force received more than 4,600 suggestions from airmen as part of a naming contest before narrowing the list down to 15 options in May.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James announced the results of the Air Force Global Strike Command led naming contest alongside selected members during her remarks at the Air Force Association's Air, Space and Cyber Conference here September 19, 2016. The proposals "captured the essence of the bomber force", James said.

James also recognized two of the three airmen who entered the winning name in a contest the Air Force held for the bomber: Lt. Col. Jaime Hernandez, with the 337th test and evaluation squadron at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, and Tech.

Doolittle led 16 B-25s on an aerial strike over Japan April 18, 1942, as retaliation for the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Richard Cole, who recently turned 101 years old and was Doolittle's co-pilot, was alongside James to announce the naming of the bomber.

The stealth B-21, the first new US bomber of the 21st century, is part of an effort to replace the Air Force's aging B-52 and B-1 bombers, though it is not slated to be ready for combat use before 2025.

"A short-term (continuing resolution) is manageable ... but, let me tell you, a long-term continuing resolution would be very damaging for the Air Force", James said. "This absolutely needs to be a focus for us".

The estimated $80 billion (£61.3 billion) programme has been shrouded in secrecy since its inception for fear of revealing military secrets to potential enemies. The Government Accountability Office plans to release a declassified report with some contract details later this month, according to Bloomberg News.

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