Air Force official, lawmakers laud BAE Systems' B-21 workBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
November 08. 2017 10:28PM
NASHUA — The work being done at BAE Systems to help create the next-generation B-21 Raider is vital for America’s safety, an Air Force major general told a group of employees this week.
“This aircraft is so critical to our nation’s defense,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas A. Bussiere, commander of the Eighth Air Force.
Bussiere joined elected officials Monday at BAE Systems’ Spit Brook Road facility to celebrate the partnership between BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman to deliver the B-21 bomber.
“This is a big deal for this nation,” Bussiere said. Last year, the Air Force named seven major contractors who are joining Northrop Grumman to build the B-21 Raider, including BAE Systems’ Electronic Systems division.
The program is much smaller than the F-35 fighter jet program, however, the B-21 program is a substantial Pentagon project that will add to BAE’s revenues, the company said.
Janis Pamiljans, president of Aerospace Systems with Northrop Grumman, said his company and partners are attempting to reach key milestones for the project, including the preliminary and critical design reviews.
“Believe me, we are challenged every day,” he said. The B-21 Raider must be supportable and affordable, he said.
Terry Crimmins, president of BAE Systems’ Electronic Systems in Nashua, said the project needs to be in the field by 2025. As the company continues to drive technology forward, Crimmins said, its partnership with Northrop Grumman is strong, and worth celebrating.
The B-21 is designed to replace the aging B-52 bomber.
“This is 21st-century, space-age technology,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.
Despite the secrecy surrounding the B-21 project, she said it is still important to recognize the work being done locally to make it a reality.
Sen. Maggie Hassan said the companies are “helping to build equipment that will keep America safe at home and abroad. When we send Americans into combat, we don’t want them to face a fair fight.”
Described as the most advanced weapons system ever built, the B-21 Raider is the future, Rep. Annie Kuster, D-NH, said, with part of it being built in New Hampshire. She thanked BAE Systems for its investment in the project.