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Long-Range Bomber Contract Nears As Costs Questioned

The Air Force said the contract for the long-range bomber will be awarded soon and won't be stopped if Congress can't pass a budget, but questions arose about the cost of the plane.

On Monday, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said the bomber, which will replace decades-old B-52s, isn't a "new start" program since it officially began in fiscal 2012.

That means it will be able to move forward even if Congress doesn't pass a budget. So far, the Air Force has spent $1.8 billion on research and development for the classified aircraft.

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) is facing...