Sometime in the next several weeks the U.S. Air Force will award a contract for the first heavy bomber America has developed since the Cold War ended a quarter-century ago. The Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) will enable the president to hold at risk any target, anywhere on the planet, even if it is deeply buried or mobile. It will also bolster strategic deterrence by fielding a strike aircraft that can deliver the full range of nuclear weapons against well-defended adversaries — meaning that any act of nuclear aggression would be suicidal. Comprehensively connected through secure networks but stealthy and capable of autonomous action, LRS-B is a technological marvel. It also incorporates all of the key lessons from recent acquisition experience, including use of prototyping, competition, and open architectures to avoid excessive reliance on particular contractors. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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