B-21 Raider: Resetting America’s Power Projection Edge

U.S. Air Force photo

Arlington, VA | December 1, 2022 | The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

At the Mitchell Institute, the requirements for effective long-range strike options that bolster our nation’s deterrence and global security writ large have long been a focus of study. In anticipation of the December 2 reveal of the new and highly secretive B-21 stealth bomber, we have prepared a number of resources that delve into why the nation needs a modern long-range stealth bomber.

Bottom Line:

The B-21 Raider roll-out comes at a time the nation desperately needs long-range strike capability and capacity to execute its defense strategy. The B-21 is custom-made for dealing with the challenges posed by the China threat—covering the ranges inherent in the vastness of the Indo-Pacific region—and surviving. It is essential to the successful implementation of strategies and operational concepts being developed to enable the U.S. military to project power in the face of China’s anti-access, area denial challenges and constitutes the foundation of a credible and effective capability to hold any target on the planet at risk and, if necessary, destroy them promptly. This global strike capability is indispensable for deterrence and crisis management and is a fundamental pillar of U.S. military power.


Decades of Air Force Underfunding Threaten America’s Ability to Win

by Lt Gen Dave Deptula, USFA (Ret.) and Mark Gunzinger



in this report:

The Bomber Bathtub: Mitchell Institute projection based on USAF requirements and inventory numbers
Thirty Years of Cutting the Nation’s Bomber Force: Mitchell Institute chart based on inventory data provided by the U.S. Air Force and mission capable rates from a U.S. Air Force database, current as of October 19, 2021.
Bomber Requirements Shortfall: Aircraft inventory requirements were based on data from the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act Section 1064 Air Force Aircraft Inventory Study completed by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in 2019. The study estimated future Air Force aircraft inventory requirements for a two-war scenario plus homeland defense, nuclear and conventional deterrence, and other requirements of the 2018 National Defense Strategy.

Affordable Mass: The Need for a Cost-Effective PGM Mix for Great Power Conflict

by Mark Gunzinger



Understanding the Long-Range Strike Debate

by Mark Gunzinger, Lukas Autenried, and Bryan Clark



Long-Range Strike: Resetting the Balance of Stand-in and Stand-off Forces

by Mark Gunzinger






U.S. Unveils B-21 Raider, the Stealth Bomber Designed to Deter China
The Wall Street Journal | December 2, 2022

Resetting America’s Power Projection Edge: The B-21
Forbes | November 30, 2022 | Lt Gen Dave Deptula, USAF (Ret.)

B-21 Stealth Bomber Designed To Break Through China’s ‘Impregnable’ Air Defenses; Can Beijing Stop The ‘Raider’?
The Eurasian Time | November 27, 2022 

It’s time to reset America’s long-range strike deficit
Defense News | November 15, 2022 | Doug Birkey

The B-21 Raider: The Indispensable Bomber
Air & Space Forces Magazine | November 3, 2022 | Chris Brunner

The B-21 Raider Stealth Bomber Will Be Worth Every Penny
1945 | October 21, 2022

Bomber Task Force Patrols Keep U.S. Adversaries On Their Toes
The National Interest | January 10, 2022

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