The B-21: How Did We Get Here?

The unveiling of the new B-21 bomber this December brings with it a variety of new developments for the Rapid City area, and the Ellsworth Air Force Base that will be housing two squadrons of the new plane. Mayor Steve Allender of Rapid City described it as “an early holiday gift for the people of Rapid City, Box Elder, and the Black Hills region.”

The project promises to bring major economic development to the area, increasing the impact of the already significant military base.

“Over the next decade or so, 1,600 additional jobs on the base, about 4,000 people into the community – that’s just the growth, just the increase. The construction alone well over $1 billion. The current economic impact from the base today is about $480 million a year,” said Scott Landguth, Executive Director of the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority.

The plane is the the culmination of over a decade of work and planning by the United States Air Force and Northrop Grumman. Below is a timeline of the events, tracing it’s development from when the first plans to design the newest generation of bombers began:



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