Boeing, Lockheed Martin Re-Marry for Future Bomber

Renewing a business relationship dormant for nearly five years, Boeing and Lockheed Martin announced they’ll compete as a team to build the Air Force’s Long Range Strike Bomber, with Boeing as the prime contractor and Lockheed Martin as the primary teammate. The two companies “are bringing together the best of the two enterprises, and the rest of industry” for the competition, said Dennis Muilenberg, Boeing Defense, Space, and Security president and CEO, in the companies’ Oct. 25 joint release. The team will reduce risk on the program, he said, “by leveraging mature technologies and integrating existing systems.” The two companies teamed to compete to supply the Next-Generation Bomber, in 2008, but the arrangement went on hiatus after then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates in 2010 cancelled that bomber project. A Boeing spokesman said on Oct. 25 the only item carried over from the earlier teaming is the Boeing-Lockheed Martin leader-follower arrangement. The companies scrapped the rest and inked a new deal. The Air Force has forbidden the companies to say any more, such as the work share between them, said the Boeing spokesman. Northrop Grumman has also said it will compete for LRS-B. The Air Force wants to buy 80 to 100 of the new bombers for a flyway cost of $550 million a copy, offering at least limited capability in the mid-2020s.