October 28, 2013: In a big announcement that has the US' aerospace industry sitting up and taking notice, Boeing has announced that it will be teaming up with arch rival Lockheed-Martin to compete for the United States Air Force's long-range strike bomber programme, with Boeing acting as the prime contractor and Lockheed Martin as the primary teammate. The two companies, which last teamed up for the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter programme, faced off bitterly in the JSF competition that saw Lockheed Martin win with the F-35 (Boeing's X-32 prototype lost).
The long-range strike bomber programme envisages a stealthy replacement for the B-2 Spirit, pioneered and built by Northrop-Grumman, which will also compete in the new programme. "Boeing and Lockheed Martin are bringing together the best of the two enterprises, and the rest of industry, in support of the long-range strike bomber programme, and we are honored to support our US Air Force customer and this important national priority," said President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing Defense, Space & Security. "Building on decades of manned and unmanned weapon systems experience, we’re proud to bring our collection of technologies, capabilities and resources to affordably design, develop, produce and sustain the bomber programme," said Orlando Carvalho, Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.