The Next-Generation Bomber program (formerly called the 2018 Bomber) is a medium bomber under development by the United States Air Force. It was originally projected to enter service around 2018 as a super stealthy, subsonic, medium range, medium payload “B-3” type system to augment and possibly to a limited degree replace the U.S. Air Force’s aging bomber fleet.
On 24 June 2010 Lt. Gen. Philip M. Breedlove said that the term “next-generation bomber” was dead and that the Air Force was working on a long-range strike “family” that would draw on the capabilities of systems like the F-35 and F-22 to help a more affordable and versatile bomber complete its missions.
On 13 September 2010 Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said that long range strike would continue cautiously with proven technologies and that the plan to be submitted with the 2012 budget could call for either a missile or an aircraft. General Norton Schwartz clarified that the bomber will not itself be nuclear capable, but will be the basis of a future nuclear capable aircraft.