Jun 16, 2014
RFP For US Bomber Coming Soon
The award date would have been set for the first half of 2015. Air Force had previously indicated an RFP would likely be issued in the fall.
The Air Force seeks to procure 80 to 100 long-range bombers. The program, has largely been shrouded in secrecy.
Only some basic information has been made public: The service has a mid-2020s operational date in mind; the plane will be based on existing technologies; there will be room for a large payload; and the service is at least exploring making the bomber optionally-manned. The bomber is also designed to fit into a “family of systems” that ties in ISR, electronic attack and communication systems.
The team of Lockheed Martin and Boeing are hoping to defeat Northrop Grumman on the contract.
Northrop Grumman’s design and production of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, the bomber most recently produced by the US Air Force, positions it well for the bomber program.
While Lockheed can bring its experience with new technologies and Boeing has its construction capabilities, Northrop is betting on its experience with the B-2 stealth bomber to carry it over the line.