New USAF Bomber Already Under Development, Says CRS

07.08.14 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

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.

Physical Security of the U.S. Power Grid: High-Voltage Transformer Substations, June 17, 2014

Aliens’ Right to Counsel in Removal Proceedings: In Brief, June 20, 2014

Unaccompanied Alien Children: Potential Factors Contributing to Recent Immigration, July 3, 2014

Unaccompanied Alien Children–Legal Issues: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, June 27, 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

U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations During the Obama Presidency: Midyear Analysis and Comparison with Recent Presidents, June 30, 2014

The Voting Rights Act of 1965: Background and Overview, July 1, 2014

U.S.-Mexico Economic Relations: Trends, Issues, and Implications, July 1, 2014

U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians, July 3, 2014