Air Force Completes B-21 Bomber Developmental Review

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Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson announced that the service completed the developmental review for its B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber program, Military.com reported Monday.

The official said at the recent Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, Calif., that the program remains on schedule following the review in late November. 

“We are pleased with how that program is going forward,” she said while attributing the progress to new acquisition authorities approved by Congress. 

Lawmakers recently provided new buying authorities to Air Force leaders to speed up decision-making and deployment of new technologies. 

Edwards Air Force Base in California and Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma will provide the facilities for test, evaluation, maintenance and sustainment of the B-21. 

Northrop Grumman’s facility in Melbourne, Fla., serves as the program’s design and development headquarters under a potential $55B contract awarded in 2015. 

The B-21 currently is in the engineering and manufacturing development phase, and the Air Force expects the first aircraft to reach initial operating capability in the mid-2020s.

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