Northrop Grumman wins $80 billion stealth bomber contract


Northrop Grumman has won the $80 billion contract to build the Air Force's next stealth bomber, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.

The award for the long-range strike bomber pitted the three defense industry giants against each other, with Northrop Grumman, which builds the B-2 stealth bomber, going up against the team of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, which built the F-35 and KC-46 tanker, respectively.

The Air Force plans to buy 80 to 100 of the bombers, which will cost at least $550 million per plane in fiscal 2010 dollars. That price tag doesn't include $16 billion the Air Force is budgeting to research and develop new technologies for the aircraft.