I'll reserve judgement until after the details inevitably emerge.
In today's announcement President Obama's Most Useful Idiot (why there seems to always be someone who until asked is NOT-generally-a-tool willing to be the front-man giving cover to Administrations that are malevolent and destructive to the national defense , I'll never understand) had this to say at least:
Finally, a major area of new investment for the Air Force will be a new long-range, nuclear-capable penetrating bomber. This aircraft, which will have the option of being remotely piloted, will be designed and developed using proven -- using proven technologies, an approach that should make it possible to deliver this capability on schedule and in quantity.Of what was explicitly stated, I would only call the 'optionally-manned' criteria as 'gross stupidity' - and probably a product of an internal AF/DoD political schism . Being of a highly suspicious nature on this topic for some reason, we'll see what the emphasis on 'existing technology' means: could be 'good' but with this crowd one never knows.
It is important that we begin this project now to ensure that a new bomber can be ready before the current aging fleet goes out of service. The follow-on bomber represents a key component of a joint portfolio of conventional deep-strike capabilities, an area that should be a high priority for future defense investment, given the anti-access challenges our military faces.
The issue as to what kind of long range platform is needed and the open questions surrounding it were covered fairly well in a recent Air Force (Air Force Association) magazine article. The same source has a pretty good backgounder on the status quo here.
I might comment on the remaining gems and turds in this punchbowl of an announcement elsewhere. Alas, there's a few of the former and piles of the latter.