Editor’s Note: This certainly ends a lot of the speculation as to which companies are on the LRS-B Team. There were a lot of theories circling the E-waves, and thanks to Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, we now have an idea of who the major players will be for the B-21. While Secretary James espouses forward-leaning posture on LRS-B and transparency, we’re not sure we agree about the B-2 being in the Shadows too long. Arguably, being in the shadows is what allows the B-2 to be as potent as it is, even after nearly three decades in service.

The Air Force has named the seven major contractors who will join Northrop Grumman in building the next-generation B-21 bomber, including the new plane’s engine-maker Pratt & Whitney.

Almost five months after the Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a hotly contested contract to build the secretive long range strike bomber, now called the B-21, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James gave reporters a sneak peek at the list of major subcontractors on the program during a March 7 briefing at the Pentagon.

Air Force Releases List of B-21 Subcontractors!
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, accompanied by and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III, announces that Northrop Grumman is awarded the US Air Force’s next-generation long range strike bomber contract at a news conference at the Pentagon, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

As many expected, F-35 engine-maker Pratt & Whitney will build the B-21 engine at its facility in East Hartford, Connecticut, James announced. As Defense News reported in November, the decision not to go with GE Aviation for the B-21 engine reflects a departure from history, as GE builds the F118 that powers Nothrop’s B-2 stealth bomber.

The other six industry partners named March 7 will work on “airframe or mission systems” for the new plane, James said. These contractors are: BAE Systems, working out of Nashua, New Hampshire; GKN Aerospace in St. Louis, Missouri; Janicki Industries in Sedro-Woolley, Washington; Orbital ATK in Clearfield, Utah and Dayton, Ohio; Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas.

The original article at Defense News can be read in its entirety right here.

(Featured photo courtesy of Defense News)

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