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 »
ON THE CALL: “AT LEAST THAT WAS SACRED”
Gen. Kelly Rips Rep. Wilson for Criticism
3 hours ago
THE LATEST
GOP FORMER PRES V. GOP CURRENT PRES
Bush Slams Trump, Implicitly
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS
AMENDMENT WOULD HAVE PREVENTED CONSIDERATION
Senate Rejects Effort to Nix SALT Tax Changes
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Senate Democrats on Thursday failed in their first attempt to save the state and local tax deduction, which helps many residents of California and other high-cost states reduce their federal income tax bills. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-47 to reject an amendment that would have prevented the Senate from considering any bill that repeals or limits the deduction as part of a planned tax overhaul."

Source:
MEETING WITH SENATE GOP
Trump to Hill Next Tuesday
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS
INTERPARTY FEUDING CONTINUES UNDER PEREZ
Longtime Progressive Members Pushed Out at DNC
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A shake-up is underway at the Democratic National Committee as several key longtime officials have lost their posts, exposing a still-raw rift in the party and igniting anger among those in its progressive wing who see retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez. The ousters come ahead of the DNC's first meeting, in Las Vegas, Nevada, since Perez took over as chairman with a pledge this year to unite a party that had become badly divided during the brutal Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton 2016 primary race."

Source:
×
×

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