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Once all costs are figured in Davis says the bomber will cost more than the target per unit

When we reported on the U.S. Air Force’s plans for a next generation long-range bomber priced at $550 million a pop, our commenters were quick to point out that there was no way that figure could be accurate. Military procurement programs have the tendency to spiral out of control with regards to costs, as witnessed by the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.
The USAF's top acquisition officer, Lt. Gen. Charles Davis, agrees and says that costs for the bomber will definitely be higher than the quoted figure.
Davis said, “Is it going to be $550 million a copy? No, of course it’s not going to be $550 million a copy once you add in everything.”
Davis also noted that the military would try to stick as close to that budget of $550 million each as possible. One of the ways the USAF will try and keep to that budget is by preventing extra requirements and untested tech from being included in the platform.

Lt. Gen. Charles R. Davis, Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition
And unlike the troubled F-35 program, the winning design team – Northrop Grumman or Lockheed Martin/Boeing – for the next generation bomber will only have to satisfy the needs of the USAF. The F-35 has to appease – and adjust to changing operational requirements from – the USAF, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines and the numerous ally nations that have bought into the program.
The bomber program also got a significant boost in funding in the FY2015 budget when the funds for research, development, testing, and evaluation were bumped from $379 million to $914 million.
The USAF plans to purchase 80 to 100 of the new bombers. 

Source: Defense News

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RE: Divide by 5, Multiply by 6...
By BifurcatedBoat on 3/6/2014 3:56:35 PM , Rating: 2
Those are the threats that we are aware of today. The military does not have the luxury of being able to see who decides to attack us and then build munitions to match. By that point, it's too late.

They have to acquire hardware to cover scenarios that haven't - and hopefully won't - materialize.

It's kind of an odd thing, but just having the military capability helps to prevent the need to ever actually use it. The most bloodshed occurs when it's not clear who would be the victor and a couple heads of state decide to try their luck in a direct conflict.

RE: Divide by 5, Multiply by 6...
By retrospooty on 3/6/2014 4:10:52 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, but no-one is saying it should bve cut from the current 550 billion down to zero. The current budget proposal for 2015 cuts it down to the upper 400's. Somewhere near a 10% cut.

Honestly, we just dont have hte money to continue. We should cut everything, literally everything by 10% across the board, playing zero favorites for any area. Just as a starting point.

By retrospooty on 3/6/2014 4:15:00 PM , Rating: 2
SLight correction...

2014 Defense budget 526 Billion
2015 proposed Defense budget 496 Billion

Appx 6% cut.

Like I said, I think 10% across the board for every govt. branch as a starting point would be good.

RE: Divide by 5, Multiply by 6...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/6/2014 6:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'm well versed in "Peace through strength" and have quoted it several times. I'm a big student and admirer of Ronald Reagan.

However if you look at the world today, we're at a far bigger risk of being taken over via economics than military Imperialism. Do you think we have the money to sustain a significant conflict right now? THAT is our biggest weakness if anything.

I'm not saying gut the military, Jesus man, I'm not a Liberal.

I just think a new bomber design can be put on hold for now. It's not like we don't have bombers and ways to bomb your ass into the stone age already.

I want to save my country. I can't credibly stand here and ask others to sacrifice issues they care about, but go "oh yeah, we need more bombers."

RE: Divide by 5, Multiply by 6...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/6/2014 6:58:41 PM , Rating: 2
And it seems people are misunderstanding my point. I'm NOT saying we don't need a strong bomber fleet.

I'm saying instead of a new program, just modernize and refresh our existing B-1 and B-2 bomber fleets. They are MORE than capable, and it could be done at a fraction of the costs.

Yank those B-1's in the Boneyard out and un-retire them. Still, WAY less expensive.

Oh and at the same time, end the B-52. THAT is what should have been put in the Boneyard and retired first. Jesus wtf were they thinking?

By retrospooty on 3/6/2014 7:43:17 PM , Rating: 2
It's clear to me now... You are too damn liberal man. ;)

RE: Divide by 5, Multiply by 6...
By sorry dog on 3/7/2014 12:14:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yank those B-1's in the Boneyard out and un-retire them. Still, WAY less expensive.

Is it?

Here's an example comparison you can understand, and I know is correct.

If you want a rebuilt LandCruiser from the mid to late 80's (same age as Bones) it will cost you at least 26k and probably 30k. A company called cool cruisers strips them, replaces parts, and basically makes them look like it's 1988 again, cassette player and all. I just looked at their site and all are sold so it seems to be price that the market clears and they cover their costs enough to keep doing it. However, I've had a late 80's cuiser and now I'd rather have a SUV that doesn't need a calendar to time it acceleration, gets better than single digit MPG going downhill, and maybe even a couple of cupholders. Toyota would be happy to sell me a nice new 4 Runner (same size as 80's cruiser) for around 40k with medium level of options... O.K. I can't sink it headlight deep and mud, beat it off next week, and expect it to work but sacrifices must be made.
The point is that even with Toyota's magic robots and escalating employee health costs they can build me something that is newer, technologically superior in every way (except maybe tolerance toward abuse), make it cheaper to operate, and sell it for less than 25% than a 30 year old rebuilt one.

Now I'm sure you can shoot holes in my comparison about development costs and such, but something that is built serially can be done more efficiently than basically a one off restoration done a few hundred times.

For the comment on new build B52's for 90mil... that's a joke. Most models of a 737 cost more than that and it is a much smaller, less complicated, and mass produced airframe.

As for the Bone, in 2030 those will be 45 years old, still using 4 F101 turbines that will suck down probably double the fuel at $4-6 a gallon...and if we do it Reclaimers way B52's will be in museums and the replacement will still be years away...

By Jeffk464 on 3/7/2014 5:28:28 PM , Rating: 2
Not to poke holes in your argument but Toyota is much more cost sensitive than our military contractors. When we are talking efficiency here there is absolutely no comparison.

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