AF plans to pick, sometime in the next couple months, a contractor to develop the new Long Range Strike Bomber. Boeing and Lockheed Martin have teamed up to offer a joint design. But Northrop, with its recent experience building the B-2 and the reams of useful data it’s gleaned from the X-47B, seems poised to win.
The new “Long-Range Strike Bomber” would be slightly less sophisticated and therefore cheaper than the Next-Generation Bomber: just $550 million per copy for up to 100 copies, with production beginning in the early 2020s. The U.S. Congress approved the first $300 million in development funding in late 2011. The Pentagon has vowed to cancel the Long-Range Strike Bomber if the total projected program cost exceeds $55 billion. Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman will compete for the contract, details of which are a closely guarded secret.
Pic - "B 3 will be a long-range, air-refuelable, highly survivable aircraft with significant nuclear and conventional stand-off and direct-attack weapons payload."