The U.S. Air Force plans to announce the name of the new B-21 stealth bomber at the Air Force Association’s annual conference in September, the service announced.
The Air, Space, Cyber symposium is scheduled for Sept. 19 through Sept. 21 in National Harbor, Maryland, just south of Washington, D.C.
During a nearly three-month-long naming contest that concluded last month, the service solicited more than 4,600 entries, according to a recent press release. Here at DefenseTech, we received many a suggestion, as well.
Some of the more serious names for the new bomber: Super Spirit, Sky Dragon, Nighthawk II, Marauder II, Vengeance, Ghost, Shadow. Some of the less serious: Budget Buster, Overprice, Overkill, About Damn Time.
Officials from Air Force Global Strike Command have reportedly whittled down the list to 15 candidates. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Chief of Staff Mark Welsh are expected to select the winning name from the list.
The participant or participants who submitted the winning name will be invited to attend the conference. Unfortunately, the fine print makes clear that participants have no financial or legal stake in the name whatsoever.
A team led by Northrop, maker of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber and drone aircraft, in October beat out another led by Boeing Co., the world’s largest aerospace company, and Lockheed Martin Corp., the world’s largest defense contractor, for the $21.4 billion initial contract as part of the LRS-B program.
The Air Force plans to buy a total of 100 of the next-generation bombers at an inflation-adjusted cost of $564 million per plane to replace its aging fleet of B-52 Stratofortresses made by Boeing Co. and a least a portion of its B-1 fleet.