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Mon, May 12, 2014

Bomber Budget Could Double After 2019

USAF Predicts Long-Range Bomber Spending Will Increase Sharply

Development of a new long-range stealth bomber could cause spending on bomber programs to nearly double after 2019, according to the U.S. Air Force.

A Pentagon document obtained by Bloomberg News outlines the spending, which would jump to about $9.5 billion in FY2020 from less that $5 billion in the current fiscal year. It would remain at near that level for four years before dropping to about $8 billion per year.

The major driver of the projected increase is the expected competition between Northrop Grumman and a joint Lockheed Martin/Boeing team for a new long-range stealth bomber that the Air Force hopes to have in service by the "mid-2020s", as well as upgrades to the B-2 stealth bomber and B-1 and B-52 aircraft still in service. Bloomberg reports that the plan had been submitted to Congress last month, but had not been made public.

The report does not take into account any automatic budget cuts due to sequestration.

The Air Force says the new bomber would be used against distant, heavily-defended targets around the world. It could buy as many as 100 of the aircraft from the winning bidder.



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