Economists have long extolled the power of competition to deliver the best products at the lowest prices. Sadly, competition is often lacking in major military aircraft procurements. Indeed, the contractors for the largest U.S. combat aircraft programs over the next two decades—the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (Lockheed Martin) and the Long-Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) (Northrop Grumman)—will probably have no competitors through almost their entire production runs. However, there ...

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