Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Lincoln County, NV, United States (4E) – The infamous Area 51, the very, very secret detachment at Edwards Air Force Base in Nevada said to house the wreckage of alien spacecraft and the remains of dead aliens, is being prepped to receive its newest hush-hush tenant — the B-21 Raider strategic stealth bomber.
Locals and media outlets are reporting an unexplained surge of suspicious activity at the base, including the construction of a very large hangar; a new U-shaped taxiway and a new roadway.
One aviation website also reported locals seeing U.S. soldiers “boarding buses to nowhere,” meaning buses headed out into the open desert deep within the base.
But it’s the massive hangar that’s led to mounting speculation prototypes of the B-21 will be tested at the base.
The hangar measures 250 by 275 feet and is much larger than the hangars used by the U.S. Air Force’s B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. One likely reason for the hangar’s existence is the B-21, which is being developed by Northrop Grumman.
The B-21 was first known as the “Long Range Strike-Bomber” or LRS-B. It’s distinguished by its very long range and its ability to loiter for extended periods over distant targets such as those in the South China Sea and Asia.
The B-21 will likely be a very long-range subsonic aircraft with broadband stealth capability. It’s being designed to defeat low-frequency radars as effectively as high frequency sets.
More ominously, the B-21 will be capable of carrying the entire range of air delivered nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal, a capability only currently afforded B-52s.
Ultimately, the USAF plans to transform the B-21 into the world’s first unmanned or robotic strategic bomber with unmatched endurance.
In the unmanned role, the B-21 will be used in non-nuclear combat to rain down guided missiles or guided bombs onto land or naval targets. The nuclear capable versions of the bomber will be manned.
What will distinguish the B-21 from the B-2 is the former’s enhanced stealthiness and its capability to loiter or hover over a battlefield for extended periods of time, allowing it to hit multiple targets of opportunity with precision.
It’s being designed to survive daylight raids in heavily defended enemy territory. The B-21 will carry a weapons load of up to 12,700 kg.
The B-21 is intended to “manage” China in a future conflict.
The Air Force plans to purchase at least 100 B-21s at a cost of $550 million each. The B-21 is a fifth-generation global precision attack platform that will give the U.S. networked sensor-shoot capability. Initial operating capability for the B-21 is expected to be reached by 2030.
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