U.S. picks Northrop Grumman to build next long-range bomber

The corporate logo of Northrop Grumman is shown on a Fire Scout MQ-8 B unmanned helicopter in CaliforniaBy Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Northrop Grumman Corp, maker of the stealth B-2 bomber, beat out a Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp team to develop and build a next-generation long-range strike bomber, the U.S. Defense Department said on Tuesday. The announcement ended months of anticipation and marked the biggest contract award by the Pentagon in over a decade, a deal analysts have said could be valued at up to $80 billion if the U.S. Air Force buys all 100 stealth bombers now planned. Air Force Assistant Secretary Bill LaPlante told reporters the service hoped to beat independent estimates, which forecast that it will cost $23.5 billion in fiscal 2016 dollars to develop the new bomber.

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