The US Air Force has selected Northrop Grumman to develop its new Long-Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B).
The contract, worth an estimated $60 billion is dubbed the world's single biggest aerospace project since the F-35 contract for Lockheed Martin over a decade ago.
The selection comes as a disappointment to a Boeing and Lockheed Martin as the two companies had teamed up to offer their own solution to the project.
Northrop is expected to build some 21 airframes as a first order from the Pentagon. "This selection continues the company's 35-year partnership with the Air Force in providing the world's most advanced long-range strike systems," a company statement said.
"As the company that developed and delivered the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, we look forward to providing the Air Force with a highly-capable and affordable next-generation Long-Range Strike Bomber," Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer and president, Northrop Grumman.
"Our team has the resources in place to execute this important program, and we're ready to get to work," Bush added.
The LRS-B is the successor to the US B-2 bombers and is expected to retain American superiority over Russia and China in long range bombers which can drop nuclear bombs. The stealth aircraft is expected to have a several cutting edge technologies, details of which are not immediately known.
One report said that the LRS-B could have laser weapons in addition to nuclear weapons.