The US Air Force (USAF) hopes to purchase future stealth bombers that are expected to be operational by the mid 2020s, USAF Secretary Michael Donley has said.

“Between 80 and 100 is the target. This programme is very much focused on affordability and poised for technical success,” he added.

Donley also gave some insight on the development and technology to be used in the aircraft.

“We plan on taking advantage of existing technologies on other programmes that are mature, a streamlined management process and a strict limitation on requirements for the system going forward as ways to control cost growth and to keep it on schedule,” he revealed.

The aircraft will at some point be nuclear capable, optionally manned and will work as part of the family of strike as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems.

The purchase target is a significant reduction from the reported 175 plan earlier this year, according to DoD Buzz.