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Entropy's avatar

So....why did we skip from B2 to B21?

Asked by Entropy (3001points) 1 month ago

USAF just unveiled the B21 Raider, the successor to the B2 and other strategic bombers. But, why was the B2 only #2 when other B’s preceded it of higher number and co-existed with it. And then, we jump right to B21?

Does the guy at the Pentagon in charge of this stuff have dyscalculia or something?

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13 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

Maybe it’s like B 2 point 1?

SavoirFaire's avatar

It’s just branding, which is also why the B-2 came after the B-52. In this case, the designation is meant to represent its status as the first bomber of the 21st century.

flutherother's avatar

They are all just modern sounding names for the B52 which will keep flying forever.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I thought this was because this is an extenstion of the B2 project – as in B2-variant 1

kritiper's avatar

The B-2 incorporated old technology. The B-21 is obviously a major upgrade.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@flutherother The B-2 and B-21 are stealth bombers, while the B-52 is not. The B-52 is closer to the B-47 (which it replaced) or the B-58 (which it outlasted).

Dutchess_III's avatar

Like Bat 21?

smudges's avatar

Maybe they tried and failed with B3 through B20.

kritiper's avatar

If the B-21 (Raider) was a simple upgrade of the B-2, it would be the B-2B like the B-1 became the B-1B (Lancer.) Or the WWII P-51D (Mustang) was once the P-51A, then P-51B, then P-51C. (In the Korean War, the P-51D became the F-51D.) Even the WWII B-17 (Flying Fortress) went from A to G.

HP's avatar

Those letters following the numbers are about different production runs, with each run distinguished (supposedly) by upgrades and improvements. With the fighter planes, the designation went from p for “pursuit” to f for fighter, when the air force became its own service separate from the army.

Dutchess_III's avatar

How you know all this stuff Stanly?

HP's avatar

In my youth I was obsessed with all things military. When I was 5, this huge (for me) red book arrived in our house that I could not effectively carry. It was “Life’s Picture History of World War 2”. That single book was responsible for my learning to read. My parents became alarmed at my insistence on dragging that book around from room to room to the neglect of all else, and they ignored my whining over the fact that I couldn’t climb the stairs to the bedroom with the book in tow. When I suggested we required an upstairs copy, they thought it prudent to drag me before an “expert” for evaluation. His conclusion amounted to my fixation as normal—the big red book as teddy bear substitute. “He’ll outgrow it”. By the time I was 9 or ten, my parents understood the doc was probably mistaken, as my folks concentrated on hiding me from adults in their sphere, lest I steered all conversation toward “war & death”, my derisive nickname as their private joke.

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