Air Force Chief: Bomber Cost to Be Tightly Capped

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Nov. 15, 2013, 9:02 a.m.

The U.S. Air Force will keep costs and mil­it­ary re­quire­ments for its fu­ture bomber air­craft tightly con­strained, ser­vice Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said this week.

“Cost is go­ing to be a no-kid­ding in­de­pend­ent vari­able in this,” Welsh told re­port­ers at a Wed­nes­day break­fast ses­sion, ac­cord­ing to Jane’s De­fense Weekly.

The fly­ing ser­vice in­tends to buy 80 to 100 of the nuc­le­ar- and con­ven­tion­al-cap­able air­craft be­gin­ning in the 2020s, with each bomber cost­ing roughly $550 mil­lion. Welsh said that unit price should be enough to make the bomber a “cap­able ma­chine,” Jane’s re­por­ted.

To de­vel­op the new stealthy air­craft, the Air Force is spend­ing $440 mil­lion this year, and in­tends to ramp up to $1 bil­lion for its R&D in­vest­ment next year, the Air Force News Ser­vice re­por­ted.

Welsh said that to con­trol costs, his ser­vice must avoid the tempta­tion dur­ing the on­go­ing de­vel­op­ment­al phase to gold-plate the new bomber with like-to-have but un­ne­ces­sary cap­ab­il­it­ies, a phe­nomen­on some­times called “re­quire­ments drift.”

“We are not go­ing to go there,” he said at the De­fense Writers Group for­um, say­ing the bomber would use only proven tech­no­lo­gies, the mil­it­ary news ser­vice re­por­ted.

Welsh also noted that the Air Force would cut back on the num­ber of leth­al drones it fields for coun­terter­ror­ism op­er­a­tions, ac­cord­ing to a Wed­nes­day re­port in the Wash­ing­ton Post.

With a grow­ing fo­cus on boost­ing the U.S. mil­it­ary pres­ence in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion, the Air Force will re­duce drone activ­it­ies from the cur­rent av­er­age of 62 com­bat op­er­a­tions per day world­wide to something more on the or­der of 45, Welsh said.

The ser­vice uses the drones in coun­terter­ror­ism ef­forts in Afgh­anistan — where U.S. com­bat op­er­a­tions will mostly draw to a close in 2014 — and in Ye­men, Somalia, West Africa and along the Turk­ish-Ir­aqi bor­der, ac­cord­ing to the Post re­port.

What We're Following See More »
PLENTY OF MISTAKES IN COVERT TESTS
Report: U.S. Ill-Equipped to Detect Dirty Bomb
6 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

A DHS report "found gaping holes in domestic nuclear detection and defense capabilities and massive failures during covert testing." A team put in place to assess our readiness capabilities found significant issues in detecting dangerous radioactive and nuclear materials, failing to do so in 30 percent of covert tests conducted over the course of the year. In far too many cases, the person operating the detection device had no idea how to use it. And when the operator did get a hit, he or she relayed sensitive information over unsecured open radio channels."

Source:
WON’T INTERFERE IN STRUCTURING NSC OFFICE
White House to Give McMaster Carte Blanche
8 hours ago
THE LATEST
RESTROOM ISSUES RETURN
Trump To Rescind Trans Protections
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Donald Trump is planning to reverse an Obama-era order requiring that schools allow students to use the bathroom that coincides with their gender identity. Trump "has green-lighted the plan for the Justice Department and Education Department to send a “Dear Colleague” letter to schools rescinding the guidance." A case is going before the Supreme Court on March 28 in which Gavin Grimm, a transgender high school student, is suing his high school for forbidding him to use the men's room.

Source:
NAIVE, RISK TAKER
Russia Compiling Dossier on Trump’s Mind
11 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Retired Russian diplomats and members of Vladimir Putin's staff are compiling a dossier "on Donald Trump's psychological makeup" for the Russian leader. "Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser."

Source:
PLANS TO CURB ITS POWER
Pruitt Confirmed As EPA Head
4 days ago
BREAKING
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login