The USAF has released its request for proposal to industry for its Long-Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) this week, with proposals due by the fall of this year and evaluations completed in early 2015.
Although the details of the request for proposal are unknown, some of the requirements of the new bomber are thought to be a large payload capacity, the ability to be optionally-manned, be based on mature technologies that will also be easily upgraded and expanded, and will come into service sometime in the mid-2020s.
The Air Force hopes to purchase 80-100 of the aircraft to replace the entire fleet of B-52 Stratofortresses as well as part of the B-1 Lancer fleet. It will also be designed to compliment the current B-2 Spirit fleet of aircraft. The Air Force hopes to keep the cost for this new program at or under $550 million per plane.