The teaming arrangement created almost two years ago between Boeing and Lockheed Martin to pursue the Air Force’s next-generation bomber is officially “in stasis mode right now,” according to Boeing Phantom Works chief Darryl Davis. Speaking with reporters Monday via telecon, Davis said the two companies aren’t clear at this point just what the Air Force wants in a long-range strike aircraft. He said the two companies would continue to watch USAF requirements unfold and decide later whether to stay linked on this project. “I’m not sure that the agreement will endure,” he said, “and at this point, I’d say the jury is still out on what we’ll do.” Thus far, the two companies have “collaborated on a lot of configuration studies, a lot of technology roadmaps” and accomplished “an awful lot,” he noted.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.