Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said today during a Bloomberg defense conference that two teams are working on "pre-proposal types of activities" that will push the Long Range Strike Bomber program into competition later this year.
The Air Force wants to buy between 80 and 100 LRS-Bs which are to be capable of penetrating anti-access/area denial environments. A Boeing-Lockheed Martin team has already been formed to bid, and Northrop Grumman is expected to as well but has not made a public announcement. Boeing is the prime contractor for the B-52 and B-1 bombers.
Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry Spencer said today during the conference that the two teams currently working on the program are focused on driving down the cost of the program, which is currently estimated at $55 billion.
James said additional details on the program's future will be laid out in the fiscal year 2015 budget.