The Air Force is already six months past its forecast of announcing a winner of the Long-Range Strike Bomber contract, and while the service crosses its T’s and dots its I’s, contractors have been spending money keeping their design teams together. Those costs can be considerable, as the teams of Boeing/Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman have scores of people working on the program who have been largely waiting for a result with nothing to do. However, a USAF spokesman, responding to a query from Air Force Magazine, said those costs probably are not recoverable from the Air Force. The LRS-B engineering, manufacturing, and development contract “will be awarded as a cost-plus, incentive-fee contract,” he said. In accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulations—the FAR—“any EMD costs incurred prior to contract award are unallowable and will not be directly reimbursed under the contract.” However, he added, companies can recoup “certain costs” indirectly “if those costs meet the FAR Cost Accounting Standards.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.