Lt. Gen. Davis Says Next Gen USAF Bomber Will "Of Course" Surpass $550M/Unit
March 6, 2014 9:45 AM
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.
"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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