A few comments
I've read the above with interest but I wonder if many commentards have actually read the reports and releases that have been circulated in the last few days. A few points I have picked up on.
1. The aircraft is not being seen as a big tech driver (in the same way as F35). The thinking is that USAF "really" needs these and doesn't want a big development holdup developing new tech.
2. The aircraft is being designed so that new tech can be added later, as it is developed. They are calling this an "open architecture", a "black box" aeroplane (not a particularly new trick, this is how the Tornado GR1 became the Tornado GR4).
3. Northrop apparantly got this gig based on the work done on two previous projects, The B2 stealth bomber and a very secret recce drone that seems to be in operation. Don't know much about the drone (obviously...) but the tech developed for the B2 would obviously be applicable without much change.
4. USAF has put a lot of effort and resource in up front during the competition between Northrop and Boeing/Lockheed to ensure the proposals would be mature enough to proceed to the next stage without compomising the aims of the project, a new bomber aircraft within the stated budget.
5. The individual flyaway cost of the aircraft is aimmed at being less that than that of the B2, whether it makes it of not is a moot point of course.