AF moves forward with future bomber Published July 12, 2014 By Ed Gulick Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The U.S. Air Force released its Long Range Strike Bomber, or LRS-B, request for proposal to industry July 9 with a contract award expected in spring 2015. The new bomber is a top modernization priority for the Air Force and will provide the United States with the option to hold any target at risk at any point around the world. “The LRS-B will be an adaptable and highly-capable system based upon mature technology,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. “We have established an achievable and stable set of requirements that should make this capability a hallmark for the future. We’ve set a realistic target cost for the system and have a procurement strategy which allows us to affordably field a new bomber fleet. The program’s strategy will ensure we get the best possible deal for the taxpayer.” The new bomber will be a long-range, air-refuelable, highly survivable aircraft with significant nuclear and conventional stand-off and direct-attack weapons payload. The LRS-B will provide operational flexibility across a wide range of military operations. "The long range strike bomber will be essential to our ability to win a full-spectrum conflict in the future. It is a must-have capability," said Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh. The Air Force plans to purchase 80-100 LRS-B aircraft at a $550 million average unit procurement cost in base year 2010 dollars with an initial capability in the mid-2020s. A request for proposal, or RFP, defines a future contract’s requirements and informs industry on how to respond in their proposals. Release of the RFP precedes competitive selection based on contractor proposals.