By Sarah Tully
Earlier this month, Northrop Grumman won the massive contract for the next-generation bomber aircraft, the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B). The program will cost an estimated $100 billion to acquire, and an additional $100 billion for operations and support; but if previous air force programs are any indicator, that number will only go up.
The bomber, which will have both nuclear and conventional missions, is a part of the current plans to modernize all three legs of the U.S. nuclear triad over the next thirty years, an undertaking that could cost upwards of $1 trillion . With large spending projects on the horizon, the contract award for the bomber sets up a sobering reality check for the Pentagon: that money is going to have to come from somewhere.