Jul. 11, 2014 By Stephen Trimble - FG
Washington DC - The US Air Force has launched the competitive phase of the classified long range strike bomber by issuing a request for proposals, with Northrop Grumman and a Boeing/Lockheed Martin team poised to compete for a contract to develop and build 80-100 aircraft over the next two decades.
Details of the air force’s requirements for the new bomber are classified, and service officials are unlikely to provide more updates until a scheduled contract award in the second quarter of 2015.
“It will be an adaptable and highly capable system based upon mature technology,” says secretary of the air force Deborah Lee James.
Air force officials also have said the new bomber, also called the LRS-B, will enter service as a manned aircraft with a target unit price of $550 million. As the first new US bomber launched since the Northrop Grumman B-2A, the LRS-B is expected to replace a fleet of 76 Boeing B-52H and possibly a portion of the supersonic Rockwell B-1B fleets. A fleet of 20 B-2As will remain in service and complement the LRS-B.