Air Force Names New Strategic Bomber

The Air Force announced that the nickname of the new Long Range Strategic Bomber known as the B-21. In a speech by Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah James announced the new name. It will be known as the B-21 Raider.

The contract to build up to 100 aircraft was awarded to Northrup Grumman last year. Northrup also built the B-2. Analysts say the program will be worth around $80 billion in total, providing a boon to Northrop and its key suppliers, but the Air Force has said only that it expects to pay $511 million per plane in 2010 dollars.

The announcement of the B-21’s nickname follows the Air Force’s attempt at a naming contest earlier this year.  Last spring, the Air Force announced that anyone could submit a name for the new bomber.  A formal vote was never announced, presumably to avoid naming the aircraft something lame or offensive. The B-21 Raider shares the same nickname as the proposed Sikorsky S-97 Raider Helicopter. No word yet on whether that craft will change its name.