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Report: Boeing, Lockheed Will Team Up For New USAF Bomber Contract

Service Wants Deployment Within 10 Years

Two competitors for US government defense and aerospace contracts are expected to team up to develop a next-generation US Air Force bomber, according to news reports.

Citing sources at Boeing and Lockheed Martin, Reuters states an announcement was expected Friday. According to those unnamed sources, Boeing will lead the project, with around 60 percent of the deal, while Lockheed Martin -- the nation's largest defence contractor -- would hold the rest.

"Boeing's in the driver's seat," one said, adding the companies chose to team up to "perform studies and system development efforts for an anticipated US Air Force program."

Northrop Grumman -- which built the last new US bomber, the B-2 (above) -- has also expressed interest in submitting a bid for the expected $10 billion deal... but one analyst says a Boeing-Lockheed partnership could prove unbeatable.

"A Boeing-Lockheed team sounds like a stronger combination than any other team," said Lexington Institute analyst Loren Thompson, who went on to state Lockheed may be the sole provider of US fighter jets within 10 years, leaving Boeing to be the only US large aircraft manufacturer.

The Air Force initially announced its desire for a new, long-range, subsonic bomber several years ago, but the program was placed on the back burner in favor of new fighter aircraft programs, and the development of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Those early plans called for the new bomber to be deployed by 2025... indicating the program is now on a fast track.

This isn't the first time Boeing and Lockheed have partnered for a big project. After duking it out for years for space launch contracts, the two companies formed United Launch Alliance in 2006. Both also partnered on the F-22 Raptor fighter program.



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