17:06 GMT04 December 2020
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    The defence giant, known for the development of stealth bombers and surveillance drones for the US Air Force, is one of the world’s largest defence and aerospace companies, with revenues topping $34 billion in 2019.

    Northrop Grumman has released a new promotional video extolling the virtues of its B-2 stealthy long-range strike bombers, boasting that its planes have played a key role in virtually every US foreign war since the 1990s.

    The clip, set to bumping ‘Stranger Things’-style synth music, explains that unlike conventional aircraft, stealth bombers “can reach any target, anywhere in the world,” deploying the heaviest weapons against hard targets and destroying large numbers of targets in a single mission.

    Moreover, the company proudly notes, “when the US goes to war, the B-2 goes first – it was the first in Iraq, Afghanistan, Serbia and Libya (2011 and 2017).”

    Northrop Grumman points out, for instance, that in January, 2017, B-2s bombed dozens of terrorist targets in Libya, (the company does not mention that it was the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya that helped turn the country into a failed state and a hotbed for terrorism in the first place).

    According to the company, its long-range stealth bombers can be deployed from the US to “strike anywhere around the world in a matter of hours,” with B-2s used in a 44 hour-long 2001 mission in Afghanistan against the Taliban* (which had no real air defences, apart from its CIA-provided shoulder-fired Stinger missiles).

    The clip concludes by mentioning the new B-21 Raider – expected to replace the B-2 Spirit, and promising that it will feature even more advanced capabilities. That aircraft is expected to make its first flight in December 2021, with the military expected to buy at least 100 of the next-gen stealth bombers.

    This is an artist rendering of a B-21 Raider concept in a hangar at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. Whiteman AFB is one of the bases expected to host the new airframe. (Courtesy graphic by Northrop Grumman)
    Northrop Grumman
    This is an artist rendering of a B-21 Raider concept in a hangar at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. Whiteman AFB is one of the bases expected to host the new airframe. (Courtesy graphic by Northrop Grumman)

    The B-2 Spirit is famously known for its extravagant price tag, with the cost of a single bomber estimated at over $2 billion, and the plane costing $135,000 per hour of flight time. Northrop Grumman built 21 of the bombers between 1987 and 2000. The company promises that the B-21 will be substantially cheaper than its predecessor, with current projections estimating a cost of $564 million per plane.


    * Considered a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

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