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The Air Force has scored a win in negotiations with Northrop Grumman, leading to a significant decrease in the unit cost of the B-21 Raider, the next-generation stealth bomber.

This news comes courtesy of Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, who revealed the positive development during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on April 9, 2024. Secretary Kendall announced that the B-21 program is seeing a decrease in unit costs following successful negotiations with Northrop Grumman, the bomber’s manufacturer. This is a positive sign for the program’s budget efficiency.

While specific details remain classified due to the program’s sensitive nature, Kendall did share some key figures. Back in December 2022, when the B-21 was first unveiled, the Air Force projected an average unit procurement cost of $692 million (adjusted for inflation). Thanks to the recent negotiations, that number has dropped to an estimated $594 million per unit. This represents a cost reduction of nearly $100 million.

While the B-21 remains a highly expensive aircraft, this cost reduction is a welcome development for the program. It demonstrates progress in managing costs and signifies a more efficient use of taxpayer dollars for this crucial national security project.