Bomber RFP Taking Shape

A draft request for proposals for the Long-Range Strike Bomber is now out for review and comment, and a final RFP should be issued in the fall, said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James on Wednesday. Speaking at a Bloomberg defense symposium in Washington, D.C., James said “there are two teams at present who are working on pre-proposal-type activities, preparing to take the next step in competition” for the LRS-B. One announced competitor is the Boeing-Lockheed Martin team, and Northrop Grumman also has said it will bid. The competition will play out “in the fall timeframe,” she said, adding that “additional detail will be available next week,” when the Fiscal 2015 defense budget request is formally presented to Congress. The bomber budget “is not classified,” she said. Lt. Gen. Charles Davis, military deputy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, told the Daily Report earlier in the day that “we’re at a point where we’re ready to begin the selection” of the bomber contractor, with a choice coming as soon as early next year. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry Spencer told the Bloomberg audience that USAF has labored to constrain “the temptation to put more stuff on this bomber” and to keep it within the allowed $550 million unit cost, but “the folks working on this program are really working hard to get us the capabilities we need for that price…They’re really pushing the envelope.”