SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
U.S. academic and strategic affair-centric think tanks off late have been asking U.S congress and Pentagon to allow the export of its 6th generation stealth B-21 bomber that is going to be unveiled soon to the world this month. B-21 will be replacing ultra-expensive B-1B and B-2 in long run in the USAF fleet with the need for 70 units it will have a pretty long production run too.
B-2, a highly capable Bomber with stealth characteristics that was billed at $2 billion after adjusting inflation in today’s rate of 2022, B-21 raider will have a unit cost of just $650 million per unit which is nearly 1/4th of what B-2 could have cost exchequer today if its production line was reopened.
B-21 even if it is cleared for export not many countries will be in a position to place orders for B-21 not only due to cost but also because of its operational and other annual maintenance costs that are not associated with the unit costs.
B-21 which will have a nuclear carrier role in USAF might come missing in an Export version which could be perfectly fine for non-nuclear countries like Japan, Australia, and Korea but will not be okay for countries like India that might consider it for only such roles as it is facing border issues with two nuclear countries in its vicinity.
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