Back in February we had a little fun on this here blog trying to come up with names for the United States Air Force’s pending marvel: the B-21 — the branch’s replacement for those trusty old faithfuls, the B-52 and the B-2.
For $80 billion (that’s what Northrop Grumman will be paid for creating the aircraft) we can all agree: the moniker better be damn good.
To rehash, here’s what you guys sent in as suggestions:
EXPENSIVE PAPER WEIGHT
OVERPRICED MECHANICAL GLITCH (OMG)
BAT WINGED HAMBURGER SNATCHER
ANKLE GRABBING TAXPAYER VIOLATION
TRILLION DOLLAR MACHINE
THE BAT PLANE
A WALK IN THE CLOUDS
Guess what wasn’t proposed, however?
The land the Pentagon selected.
Want to know what they chose? Don’t you?
We won’t tease you any further.
Take a deep breath.
Because here it is …
The B-21 was designated at the Air Force Association’s national conference in Washington, D.C. Monday. After holding a naming contest seven months ago, they’ve finally picked a winner. Not sure how seriously they took our ideas (but hey I liked Nightwing.)
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James announced that three servicemen, Lt. Col. Jamie Hernandez, Technical Sgt Derek White and retired Co-Pilot Lt. Dick Cole, actually did win the contest with (apparently) compelling papers on why the B-21 should be named “Raider.”
It’s “B-21” because “first bomber of the 21st century,” by the way. The Secretary did not share any backstory on the “Raider” name at its introduction, but hopefully we’ll hear something more than “sounds cool” in an official capacity soon.
The plane is supposed to begin initial testing in ten years. We’ll see.