Washington : Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin said the US is building a more lethal Force Posture in the Indo-Pacific as part of efforts to make sure China doesn’t dominate the region the way it intends to. China is “the only country with both the will & increasingly, the power to reshape its region & the international order to suit its authoritarian preferences, “ Austin told the Reagan National Defence Forum on Saturday. ”So let let me be clear- we ‘re not going to let that happen.”
Austin said the U S would “sustain & sharpen our war – fighting advantages” and bolster its force presence “ to build a more lethal ,mobile &distributed force Posture.” He cited the B21 stealth bomber, unveiled on Friday, as a key element of its deterrence strategy, and said the U S is charting the best way forward for Australia to get a nuclear-powered submarine as soon as possible – a deal announced early in the Biden administration.
The speech amounts to a new warning shot to President Xi Jinping even as the US looks to establish what it calls guard rails & keep tension with China from spiraling out of control. In its latest report on China’s military strength, released late last month, the US government said China is still intent on gaining the capability to invade by 2027 & become the world’s most powerful military by 2049.
As it looks to counter that push, Austin outlined other measures, saying the Pentagon had sharpened its focus on the Indo- Pacific as the primary theater of operation, including by pushing to be able to mobilize troops more quickly & investing in military construction & logistics.
“These next few years will set the terms of our competition with the People’s Republic of China. They will shape the future secretly in Europe,” Austin said. Between the two nuclear power threats, China remains the greater risk, Austin said.
To meet that rise, “ We’re aligning our budget as never before to the China challenge,” Austin said. “In our imperfect world, deterrence does come through strength”. The bomber is part of a major nuclear triad overhaul under way that the Congressional Budget Office has estimated will cost $1.2 trillion through 2046.
It includes the Raider serving as the backbone of the future air leg of the triad , but it also requires modernising the nation’s silo launched nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles & its nuclear submarine fleet. The defence department has the largest discretionary budget of all the federal agencies , and it may receive up to $847 billion in the 2023 budget if Congress passes the current funding bill before this legislative session ends. The B-21 Raider, a new high-tech stealth bomber developed for the US Air Force along with Northrop Grumman, was on display in Palmdale, California this week.
10 Key Facts About The B-21 Raider As Per Northrop Grumman
1. Sixth Generation.
The B-21 Raider benefits from more than three decades of strike and stealth technology. It is the next evolution of the Air Force strategic bomber fleet. Developed with the next generation of stealth technology, advanced networking capabilities and an open systems architecture, the B-21 is optimized for the high-end threat environment. It will play a critical role in helping the Air Force meet its most complex missions.
Northrop Grumman is continuously advancing technology, employing new manufacturing techniques and materials to ensure the B-21 will defeat the anti-access, area-denial systems it will face.
3. Backbone of the Fleet.
The B-21 Raider forms the backbone of the future for U.S. air power. The B-21 will deliver a new era of capability and flexibility through advanced integration of data, sensors and weapons. Capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear payloads, the B-21 will be one of the most effective aircraft in the sky, with the ability to use a broad mix of stand-off and direct attack munitions.
4. A Digital Bomber.
The B-21 is a digital bomber. Northrop Grumman uses agile software development, advanced manufacturing techniques and digital engineering tools to help mitigate production risk on the B-21 program and enable modern sustainment practices. Six B-21 Raiders are in various stages of final assembly and test at Northrop Grumman’s plant in Palmdale, California.
5. Cloud Technology.
Northrop Grumman and the Air Force successfully demonstrated the migration of B-21 ground systems data to a cloud environment. This demonstration included the development, deployment and test of B-21 data, including the B-21 digital twin, that will support B-21 operations and sustainment. This robust cloud-based digital infrastructure will result in a more maintainable and sustainable aircraft with lower-cost infrastructure.
6. Open Architecture.
To meet the evolving threat environment, the B-21 has been designed from day one for rapid upgradeability. Unlike earlier generation aircraft, the B-21 will not undergo block upgrades. New technology, capabilities and weapons will be seamlessly incorporated through agile software upgrades and built-in hardware flexibility. This will ensure the B-21 Raider can continuously meet the evolving threat head on for decades to come.
7. A National Team.
Since the contract award in 2015, Northrop Grumman has assembled a nationwide team to design, test and build the world’s most advanced strike aircraft. The B-21 team includes more than 8,000 people from Northrop Grumman, industry partners and the Air Force. The team consists of more than 400 suppliers across 40 states.
Long-term operations and sustainment affordability has been a B-21 program priority from the start. In partnership with the Air Force, our team has made maintainability an equally important requirement to stealth performance to ensure we’re driving more affordable, predictable operations and sustainment outcomes.
9. Global Reach.
The B-21 Raider is pivotal to supporting our nation’s strategic deterrence strategy. In addition to its advanced long-range precision strike capabilities that will afford Combatant Commanders the ability to hold any target, anywhere in the world at risk, it has also been designed as the lead component of a larger family of systems that will deliver intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, electronic attack and multi-domain networking capabilities. In a dynamic global security environment, the B-21 will provide the flexibility and deterrence critical to the security of the U.S. and our allies.
The B-21 Raider is named in honor of the Doolittle Raid of World War II when 80 airmen, led by Lt. Col. James “Jimmy” Doolittle, and 16 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers set off on a mission that changed the course of World War II. The actions of these 80 volunteers were instrumental in shifting momentum in the Pacific theater. This marked the raid as a catalyst to a multitude of future progress in U.S. air superiority from land or sea. The courageous spirit of the Doolittle Raiders is the inspiration behind the name of the B-21 Raider.