Funded by US Government, they have different agencies that study these projects. Congress and the Air Force were both surprised, the Air Forces mantra has been for years that they will not buy any bomber of fighter that isn't stealth. People in the Pentagon decided, "You don't need expensive stealth for every mission, and most missions are accomplished without stealth" Like I said before, their main mission is "Coastal Defense" they don't need stealth for that, they need speed, fire power and range.Independent study funded by whom .
Per the reports, USAF was as much surprised by the acquisition as anyone else?
Did they request it?
I am not arguing the capabilities of the plane, just that the decision was not made by the USAF. This is opposite of the A-10 to be replaced by F-35 scenario. Where the AF wanted A-10s to be replaced by F-35 and someone in Congress kept making sure that the hogs kept flying
The initial 8 will cost 140 Mil each. Which obviously will come done, but by how much? would it be in the 80 Mil per unit range? F-35 is supposed to go down to the 70m range. How much less would the operational cost be?