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For the last several years the Black Hills of South Dakota has been anticipating a sizable influx of new business, industry, and jobs with the arrival of a new airplane.

In a report by The Drive, sources with the War Zone report flight testing has begun on the new B-21 Raider.

“The B-21 Raider is in flight testing. Flight testing is a critical step in the test campaign managed by the Air Force Test Center and 412th Test Wing’s B-21 Combined Test Force to provide survivable, long-range, penetrating strike capabilities to deter aggression and strategic attacks against the United States, allies, and partners.”

In June of 2022, it was confirmed by South Dakota’s Congressional delegation that South Dakota's Ellsworth Air Force Base would be the first base to get the new B-21 Raider.

After being pushed back multiple times, the first flight of the B-21 took place Friday, November 10 just after dawn near Palmdale, Califonia.

Overall, the Air Force is projecting a $1 billion investment at Ellsworth to meet warfighter demands for bomber airpower.


United States Marine Corps North American B-25 Mitchell medium bombers
Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The B-21 Raider, which takes its name from the 1942 Doolittle Raid over Tokyo, will be slightly smaller than the B-2 to increase its range.

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