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 »
ANOTHER GOP MODERATE TO HER SIDE
John Warner to Endorse Clinton
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will score another high-powered Republican endorsement on Wednesday, according to a campaign aide: retired senator John Warner of Virginia, a popular GOP maverick with renowned military credentials."

Source:
AUTHORITY OF EPA IN QUESTION
Appeals Court Hears Clean Power Plant Case
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday "heard several hours of oral arguments" over the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan rules. The 10-judge panel "focused much of their questioning on whether the EPA had overstepped its legal authority by seeking to broadly compel this shift away from coal, a move the EPA calls the Best System of Emission Reduction, or BSER. The states and companies suing the EPA argue the agency doesn’t have the authority to regulate anything outside of a power plant itself."

Source:
$28 MILLION THIS WEEK
Here Come the Ad Buys
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Spending by super PACs tied to Donald Trump friends such as Ben Carson and banker Andy Beal will help make this week the general election's most expensive yet. Republicans and Democrats will spend almost $28 million on radio and television this week, according to advertising records, as Trump substantially increases his advertising buy for the final stretch. He's spending $6.4 million in nine states, part of what aides have said will be a $100 million television campaign through Election Day."

Source:
GOP REFUSED VOTE ON FCC COMMISIONER
Reid Blocks Tech Bill Over “Broken Promise”
13 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Monday night's debate may have inspired some in Congress, as Senate Minority Leader has decided to take a stand of his own. Reid is declining to allow a vote on a "bipartisan bill that would bolster U.S. spectrum availability and the deployment of wireless broadband." Why? Because of a "broken promise" made a year ago by Republicans, who have refused to vote on confirmation for a Democratic commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission to a second term. Harry Reid then took it a step further, invoking another confirmation vote still outstanding, that of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

Source:
FLINT FUNDING STILL AT ISSUE
Spending Bill Fails to Clear 60-Vote Hurdle
15 hours ago
THE LATEST
×