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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 drycrust3 on 3/6/2014 5:37:54 PM , Rating: 2
The B-52 fleet is not just ageing but damn right elderly and needs to be replaced. The B1 is a maintenance nightmare and limited capability compared to B-52

Well, why not build one like a B52? Cut out the swing wings, cut out the extra high tech engines, and such like. According to Wikipedia, the cost to build a B52H is about $81M in current dollars, and the cost to maintain it is about $10k per flying hour, so why not aim for something to fit that sort of budget?
The point being is America seems to have now entered an era of financial restraint, so whatever you want to buy has to fit in with that, and as an outsider (I'm not American), it would seem to me that $550M+ is not the sort of aircraft that you want because even now the politicians won't like it, and in few years they will hate the thing and not want it on the books. If the generals want that plane then the cost will be less airforce bases, less personnel, less fighter planes, etc, and that is what concerns me here, because ultimately the end result of a $550M plane is less operationally cheaper aircraft.
Sure, there is a cost in a moderately priced not too advanced aircraft, like a smaller payload, less speed, more RADAR reflections, less leading edge technology, etc, but the benefit is it more easily fits your budget, it has less development time, it gets manufactured quicker, it gets deployed quicker, it has better reliability, there are more variants, and it is easier to get export sales.
Now that last one is interesting, because even an $81M Bomber would be difficult to sell to most democracies, but at least you'd get some sales, how difficult do you think it is going to be to sell a $550M plane to them? While there would be a whole lot of hand wringing over an $81M plane, most countries wouldn't hesitate to show the door to the salesman of a $550M plane.

By retrospooty on 3/6/2014 6:05:50 PM , Rating: 2
Because the govt isn't interested in saving money on military contracts. They are interested in buying overpriced gadgets to fill the coffers of their corporate sponsors. A mere "$100 million dollar" plane just isnt enough.

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