It’s not just fighters that are getting ever more expensive according to Augustine’s Law as described in Chapter 4 of Swarm Troopers — bombers are also incredibly costly.
The Air Force’s next-generation Long Range Strike Bombers should cost ‘only’ $564m each, according to the latest plans. However, based on past experience, it’s highly unlikely that costs will be kept so low.
By contrast, military drones can cost just a few thousand dollars. One bomber = a swarm of 280,000 drones. Try intercepting that with one fighter jet or a Patriot missile.
In a piece in Popular Mechanicas, I look at the Long Range Strike Bomber and its place as the latest of a long line of attempts to replace the B-52 — and why the others have all turned out so expensive.