That s normally the sort of thing defense-minded types like to hear, but U.S. Air Force programs of the past few decades have a tendency to go completely off the rails.

By promising everything, the F-35 was hobbled by expectations and snuffed out alternatives.

Other stealth projects, from the F-22 to the F-35 to the Zumwalt, revealed the shapes of their vehicles, in concept and in prototype.

The B-21, instead, exists in the public eye as only a shape under a sheet or a rough rendering with a striking similarity to the B-2.

They assume a few major points: that nuclear-capable bombers are necessary, they there s a role for them in either conventional war or deterrence that isn t already provided by existing nuclear weapons and strike aircraft, and that the investment they require, as a highly advanced individual piece of technology, makes sense in the world of tomorrow.

His work regularly appears at Popular Science, and he edits even nerdier stories at Grand Blog Tarkin.

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