In picking Northrop Grumman to build the U.S. Air Force’s multibillion-dollar, next-generation stealth bomber, the Pentagon was willing to accept risk in the new aircraft’s design and development phase in order to get a better upfront price, according to a recently declassified ruling by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Both competitors—Northrop and a team of Boeing and Lockheed Martin—significantly underbid government estimates to design and develop ...

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