Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Northrup Grumman awarded the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) contract

100 aircraft at $550 million each, $80 billion overall contract.  It's broken down somewhat.  Phase 1 pays $21.4 billion and Northrup will deliver 21 aircraft.  Then subsequent phases will buy another 79 aircraft.  Looking at the over all contract for 100 aircraft they estimate the cost at $511 million each, and there is a cap of $550 million.  Assume cost enhancements push the cost right up to the cap.  That looks like $55 billion for deliverable aircraft and $25 billion for non-recurring engineering.  That's best case.  Aircraft to become operational in 2025.  Let's see if USAF has pulled up its socks enough to award a contract and not have it disputed in court.  Lockheed Martin was the other bidder, they have plenty of lawyers to challenge a contract award.
   This comes from the Wall St Journal, and it also made NPR.  No discussion of LRS-B performance, range, speed, payload, radar cross section.  The Journal suggested that the LRS-B mission would be strategic nuclear strike against Russia or China. 

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