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The Air Force is preparing for a substantial technical “critical design review” of its next-generation B-21 Raider bomber, an aircraft said by developers to mark a new “generation” in stealth technology able to elude the most advanced air defenses in the world.

The review, described by Air Force officials as a key step prior to formal construction of the aircraft, will assess design specs, technology plans, computing power and weapons integration for the new bomber – a platform which service developers say will advance stealth technology itself to new, unprecedented dimensions of technological sophistication.

“The B-21 program has completed preliminary design review. The next step is critical design review. The Air Force remains confident in the B-21's progress and in delivering this new capability as planned in the mid-2020s,” senior Air Force public affairs director Anne Stefanek, told Warrior Maven earlier this year.

Critical reviews of the emerging B-21 design are essential to engineering a platform able to accommodate the most advanced current and anticipated future stealth properties – which include stealth coating and configuration, radar cross section reduction and heat signature suppression technologies, among other things.

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