WASHINGTON — Subtlety, Thy Name Is Northrop.

Again.

Northrop Grumman has made no secret of its desire to land the Air Force's next-generation bomber program, known as the Long Range Strike-Bomber (LRS-B). With the service expected to downselect in late spring or early summer between Northrop and its competition, a team of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, it appears the company is getting more serious about its public push for the program.

Below is a new ad from the company posted Thursday, which a spokesman said will debut nationally on Feb 2.

The ad shows the company's legacy of building flying wings, first with the YB-35 prototype from the 1940s, then the B-2 Spirit bomber developed in the 1980s and finally the X-47B unmanned system being developed for the Navy. And then ... another flying wing shape, covered in a sheet.

Text wise, it's a simple ad with almost no voice over. "Building aircraft, the likes of which the world has never seen before," the narrator intones. "This is what we do."

But for anyone tangentially aware of the LRS-B program, the implications are clear: we're Northrop, and we know how to make a new bomber.

It's not the first time Northrop has teased a TV audience with a new design. This ad has been running in the DC area for several months, and follows a similar pattern: showing the history of the company before ending with a hint of its future.

Keep an eye out for the ad and let us know when you see it.

Twitter: @AaronMehta

Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.

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