Although Air Force acquisition chief William LaPlante recently told Air Force Magazine that the service would release
the request for proposals for the Long-Range Strike Bomber as early as
the end of June—now only days away—expect no public announcements, said
Air Force spokesman Ed Gulick on Thursday. “The Air Force is committed
to a fair acquisition process” on LRS-B, said Gulick. “To ensure this
occurs, we are prohibited from releasing information” on the current
acquisition phase, he said. Certain parts of the LRS-B program are
deemed too vulnerable to discuss publicly, to
prevent “sensitive information” from reaching “potential adversaries,”
said Gulick. Future release of acquisition milestones, he said, “will be
considered and released as appropriate.” LaPlante told the magazine the
final RFP would be out about now—after months of back-and-forth
discussions with potential contractors—and that a downselect to a single
contractor would come in the late spring 2015 timeframe. Contractors
have been especially tight-lipped about the program, and word is the
Defense Department has even forbidden them to run any advertising
promoting their capabilities to accomplish this project. Boeing and
Lockheed Martin have teamed to bid, and Northrop Grumman has indicated
it’s interested, too.
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