A Request for Proposals from industry to develop a new Air Force Long Range Strike Bomber is said to be imminent. But in fact, the aircraft may already be under development, the Congressional Research Service said last week.
The projected funding stream for the proposed new aircraft “resembles a production program more than a typical development profile,” CRS said. “This may indicate that significant LRS-B [Long Range Strike Bomber] development has already been completed, presumably in classified budgets.”
“Such prior development would also help explain how the Air Force intends to get the system from a Request for Proposals to initial operational capability in about 10 years, when equally or less-complicated systems like the F-22 and F-35 have taken more than 20.”
Any pre-proposal development that may have occurred could also complicate the bidding process, CRS said.
“If there has in fact been considerable prior development, the Air Force will be challenged to construct a truly competitive RFP [because] whichever competitor may have done the bulk of any such preliminary LRS-B development is likely to have an advantage in the production contract.”
See CRS Insights: Budget Highlight: Air Force Long Range Strike Bomber, July 2, 2014.
Other noteworthy new CRS products that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following.
Aliens’ Right to Counsel in Removal Proceedings: In Brief, June 20, 2014
The Peace Corps: Current Issues, July 2, 2014
U.S. Energy: Overview and Key Statistics, June 27, 2014
Export-Import Bank: Overview and Reauthorization Issues, June 30, 2014
The Voting Rights Act of 1965: Background and Overview, July 1, 2014
U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians, July 3, 2014