09.21.22

Rounds: B-21 Raider Bomber to be Publicly Unveiled in December

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today issued a statement on the timeline of the B-21 Raider bomber.

“The B-21 Raider bomber will play a crucial role in the defense of our nation and have a major impact on the Rapid City area for the next 50 years,” said Rounds. “I was pleased to see the progress on the B-21 when I visited the production facility in July. Soon the public will see this stealth bomber. I am looking forward to the public unveiling during the first week of December in Palmdale, California.”

Background:

  • As governor, Rounds successfully advocated for the removal of Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB) from the Department of Defense’s proposed closure list during a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round in 2005. Following that effort, he led a legislative effort to establish the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority (SDEDA). Now a permanent fixture, the SDEDA’s mission is to protect, strengthen and promote the base.
  • In March 2019, the Air Force announced Ellsworth AFB was the preferred location for the first home of the B-21 Raider bomber.
  • In December 2019, Rounds, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, secured full funding for the B-21 bomber program with the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020.
  • In January 2021, Rounds’ provision to address the Air Force’s bomber shortfall, which directly supports B-21 bomber program and Ellsworth AFB, became law as part of the NDAA for FY 2021.
  • In June 2021, Rounds announced that Ellsworth AFB would officially be the Air Force’s first base to receive the new B-21.
  • In December 2021, Rounds secured key B-21 funding in the NDAA for FY 2022. In anticipation of the B-21 arrival, funding included construction at Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB) and continued B-21 development.
  • In July 2022, Rounds visited the B-21 production facility in Palmdale, California and reported the project was on time and on budget.

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