Popular Mechanics B-21 bomber article suggests basic platform already developed

This Popular Mechanics article updating us on the progress of the B-21 bomber doesn’t really say anything new. However, given the paucity of any news about the B-21, I thought it worthwhile to mention it.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a25422300/b-21-bomber-review/

Here’s my biggest takeaway from the article: “… B-21’s ‘proposed funding and deployment schedule implied that considerable development had been accomplished prior to contract award. … both competing designs were at an unusually high level of detail and development for a system in which the prime contractor had not been selected.’ ”

So, the basic platform’s already been developed?

This would suggest it’s been flying in one form or another for years. Obviously, not as a bomber, but as something …

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