RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — The U.S. Air Force’s new B-21 bomber will be stationed first at a base near Rapid City. The Rapid City Journal reports the bomber will be stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base. The Air Force says the bomber will be tested at Edwards Air Force Base in California before it becomes active at Ellsworth in the mid-2020s.
The B-21 is intended to replace the B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit bombers to form a two-bomber fleet of B-21s and modified B-52s. The Air Force awarded the B-21 design and manufacturing contract to Northrop Grumman in 2015.
Plans call for constructing at least 100 B-21s at an average cost of about $639 million each.