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Air Force Seeks Proposals for $55 Billion Bomber Program

The U.S. Air Force said today it has asked contractors for proposals on a new long-range strike bomber, setting up a competition between Northrop Grumman Corp. and a Lockheed Martin Corp.-Boeing Co. joint venture.

The Air Force has said it may build as many as 100 of the bombers, at a cost that may top $55 billion, to replace the aging B-2 stealth bomber built by Northrop. The service said in an e-mailed statement that it expected to choose the bomber’s developer “in the spring 2015 timeframe.”