The U.S. Air Force is poised to announce its selection of a contractor to build a new stealthy bomber to be first fielded in the mid-2020s. The program ultimately could cost $80 billion or more. Obviously, much is at stake for the two competitors—Northrop Grumman and a Boeing-Lockheed Martin team—and their suppliers. But Defense Department credibility is at stake, too. The department, and the Air Force in particular, have a less-than-sterling record of developing large weapons ...

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