USAF reactivates 420th Flight Test Squadron for B-21 Raider testing

7 October 2019 (Last Updated October 7th, 2019 12:22)

The US Air Force (USAF) has reactivated 420th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) to support testing of the B-21 Raider stealth bomber aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

USAF reactivates 420th Flight Test Squadron for B-21 Raider testing
An artist rendering of the B-21 Raider stealth bomber. Credit: US Air Force.

The US Air Force (USAF) has reactivated 420th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) to support testing of the B-21 Raider stealth bomber aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

The squadron was reactivated following an ‘assumption of command ceremony’ at the AFB.

It will be responsible for planning, testing, analysing and reporting on all flight and ground testing of the B-21 Raider bomber.

Organised under the 412th Test Wing, the 420 FLTS will help ensure the asymmetric capability is delivered to troops.

Speaking at the Air Force Association Conference last month, USAF Acting Secretary Matthew Donovan said: “The first flight of the Raider will take it from Palmdale to Edwards AFB, where the legacy of excellence will continue with the reactivation of the 420th Flight Test Squadron.”

Under development by Northrop Grumman, the B-21 will deliver a highly survivable, next-generation bomber capability to the USAF.

The B-21 bomber is intended to replace B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit aircraft at three bomber bases.

The aircraft will be able to penetrate modern air defences.

Matthew Donovan announced that Northrop Grumman is building the aircraft in Palmdale, California.

The 420th FLTS at Edwards previously supported the developmental testing of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.

The aircraft arrived for testing by the squadron from Northrop Grumman’s production facility in Palmdale in July 1989.

The Palmdale facility also produces the USAF’s B-2 Spirit bomber.