Beijing’s state-controlled media earlier tantalized weapons experts by releasing computer-generated pictures of China’s Xian H-20 – a projected subsonic stealth bomber design of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force.
The new Northrop Grumman illustration of the next-generation strategic bomber was posted on the official USAF website and was the second official artist rendering. The first was released in 2016.
The B-21, set to replace both the B-1 and B-2, is depicted taking off from Edwards Air Force Base in southern California.
While not showing a complete view of the bomber, the image reveals important new details about the plane, designed to fly both conventional and nuclear strike missions.
The first B-21 bomber has already been built, set for first flight in mid-2022, with the Raider force to be based at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, and Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, according to Popular Mechanics.
However, the US Air Force chose to tweet an image on social media, posting a caption that said that it was “an artist’s interpretation of the B-21 design.” Many have underscored that this means the artist is likely not to have seen the aircraft depicted.
The new image shows the plane’s belly and nose, in addition to the trailing edge. It has…