Behind the shadowy B-21 stealth bomber’s veil of secrecy

(From the National Interest)

By Dave Majumdar

The U.S. Air Force has disclosed a trove of additional details about its secretive Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B), but is refusing to divulge information about how much the stealthy new warplane will cost, despite congressional pressure.

Artist's conception of B-21 stealth bomber

Artist’s conception of B-21 stealth bomber

The Air Force is worried that disclosing the price might compromise the bomber’s capabilities. The service’s assertions were meet with skepticism on Capitol Hill, however. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), took the Air Force to task for hiding trivial details about the B-21 for the sake of secrecy. “Why would you not ever want to tell the American people how you’re going to spend their dollars?” McCain asked on March 8.

“We’re trying to balance the transparency that we want to do with the public so that they understand what we’re doing, but we’re also trying to protect the critical capabilities of this asset,” Lt Gen. Arnold Bunch Jr. military deputy to the office of the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition told the SASC. “We’re try to prevent the ability of individuals to link different pieces that may be unclassified together to get an idea of where the money is being spent.” Read more


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