Bomber RFP News to Stay Hidden

Although Air Force acquisition chief William LaPlante recently told Air Force Magazine that the service would release the request for proposals for the Long-Range Strike Bomber as early as the end of June—now only days away—expect no public announcements, said Air Force spokesman Ed Gulick on Thursday. “The Air Force is committed to a fair acquisition process” on LRS-B, said Gulick. “To ensure this occurs, we are prohibited from releasing information” on the current acquisition phase, he said. Certain parts of the LRS-B program are deemed too vulnerable to discuss publicly, to prevent “sensitive information” from reaching “potential adversaries,” said Gulick. Future release of acquisition milestones, he said, “will be considered and released as appropriate.” LaPlante told the magazine the final RFP would be out about now—after months of back-and-forth discussions with potential contractors—and that a downselect to a single contractor would come in the late spring 2015 timeframe. Contractors have been especially tight-lipped about the program, and word is the Defense Department has even forbidden them to run any advertising promoting their capabilities to accomplish this project. Boeing and Lockheed Martin have teamed to bid, and Northrop Grumman has indicated it’s interested, too.