Future of Air Force stealth bombers aimed at technological upgrades
The United States Air Force bomber program is now competing for the right to do high-tech upgrades, according to Pentagon officials on Tuesday. The Pentagon is faced with decision of who is the winner of the Long Range Strike Bomber contest in the coming months. Several options are on the table including Lockheed Martin, which does the design work for the Boeing-Lockheed team, who is responsible for almost the entire nation’s advanced stealth design work. They also have the option of staying with their regular contractor, Northrop Gruman, which would then build the entire stealth bomber fleet. The argument for the Boeing-led team rests principally on the fact that Boeing often can produce large numbers of large aircraft on time and at a reasonable cost. But Boeing’s record on commercial aircraft is mixed — 777 vs. 787 — and it’s encountering difficulties with the KC-46, a commercial aircraft that’s being modified for military tanker use.
It’s a really important competition, arguably more important for the industrial base and the American people than the incredibly painful and problem-plagued tanker program. The new bomber design details are under tight secrecy, however we do know that the new aircraft will be designed with an eye towards upgrades and modularity.
Read more at Examiner.com
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