STRATCOM: 100 B-21s Will be Sufficient

While Air Force officials have called for a bigger buy of B-21 Raiders, the current planned number of 100 should be enough for US Strategic Command, the command’s chief said Tuesday. Air Force Gen. John Hyten, speaking Tuesday at the Senate Armed Services Committee, said based on requirements in the New START treaty and the need for the bomber’s conventional operational mission, the planned buy of 100 is sufficient from the “top level.” The Air Force has recently finalized a bomber “vector roadmap” detailing its planned need for bombers in the future, a plan that Hyten has not seen. But on current requirements, the 100 number is enough. Air Force officials, including Vice Chief Gen. Stephen Wilson and Air Force Global Strike Command chief Gen. Robin Rand, have said 100 is the minimum number. Rand, speaking last fall, said service requirements could be more.