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    An artist rendering shows the first image of a new Northrop Grumman Corp long-range bomber B21 in this image released on February 26, 2016

    US Air Force Secretary Shows Image of New Long-Range Strike Bomber

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    The United States got its first look at an image of the proposed B-21 Long-Range Strategic Bomber, a distinctive black wedge that resembles the original B-2 stealth bomber, according to a US Air Force press release on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States got its first look at an image of the proposed B-21 Long-Range Strategic Bomber, a distinctive black wedge that resembles the original B-2 stealth bomber, according to a US Air Force press release on Friday.

    "The B-21 will allow the Air Force to operate in tomorrow's high-end threat environment, and give the Air Force the flexibility and the capability to launch from the continental United States and deliver airstrikes on any location in the world," Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told an audience at a symposium in the US state of Florida.

    While there are no existing prototypes of the aircraft, the artist rendering is based on the initial design concept, the release pointed out.

    The passenger and payload area forms a smooth lump at the center of a boomerang-shaped aircraft, losing the sharp edges visible on the existing B2.

    James said the design similarities are due to "the use of existing and mature technology."

    Defense contractor Northrup Grumman has been awarded a contract to develop the bomber, which is expected to cost more than $500 million each. The US Airforce plans to buy up to 100 of new aircraft, according to published reports.

    In unveiling the photo, at the annual Air Force Association’s annual Air Warfare Symposium, James announced a contest to name the new weapon.

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    Tags:
    Stealth bomber, strategic bomber, technology, B-2 bomber, Air Force, United States
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