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Boeing, Lockheed join forces to compete for bomber
uusjio | February 1, 2008 at 01:59 amby
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"Boeing's in the driver's seat," one said.
The companies said in a statement earlier on Thursday that they planned to make an announcement on Friday about their efforts to team up to "perform studies and system development efforts for an anticipated U.S. Air Force program."
Northrop Grumman Corp , which built the last U.S. bomber, the B-2, has also said it plans to compete to build the new bomber -- a deal that defense analysts say could be worth $10 billion or more.
"A Boeing-Lockheed team sounds like a stronger combination than any other team," said Loren Thompson of the Virginia-based Lexington Institute, noting that Lockheed would likely be the only U.S. builder of fighter jets in 10 years, while Boeing
would be the only U.S. maker of large aircraft.
The Air Force announced plans for a new long-range bomber several years ago, but the program has not yet received much attention or funding in the regular defense budget up to now because of competing budget demands.
Current plans call for the new bomber to be subsonic, manned and with a range of about 2,000 miles.
The program is ...